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Messages - Perkins1820

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Hi all,

I am looking to get more details on the trial of my 3x Great Grand Uncle Samuel Perkins (born 1816, son of Thomas and Ann Perkins), in particular, whether it is possible to access the court records of his criminal trial (what was the evidence that convicted him, was it before a jury etc). 

He was charged at Birmingham court on 22 May 1840 with stealing a watch and is sentenced to 10 years transportation.   The following report was captured in The Birmingham Journal newspaper, on Saturday 23rd May 1840:

‘Samuel Perkins was charged with stealing a watch, value 16s, the property of Mr. Robert Riley*.  The prisoner pleaded not guilty; and Mrs Sarah Norton was called and examined by Mr. Daniels.  She stated that she was in the service of Mr. Riley and was in his shop on the 15th April, when she heard a crash at the window, and on looking at the place, she saw the prisoner run away with a watch.  She followed him down Deritend, and had him taken into custody.  Mrs Wood, of Alcester Street, swore that she saw the prisoner break the pane of glass, and run away with the watch.
Verdict: Guilty. Sentence: 10 years transportation.’
* Name actually appears to be Robert Ryley.

The crime is also noted again in The Birmingham Journal on Saturday 30th May:
‘Transportation – for ten years. Samuel Perkins for stealing a silver watch, the property of Mr. Robert Ryley’

Despite his plea of ‘Not Guilty’, he is found guilty and sent to Van Diemen’s Land on 30 November 1840, one of 330 convicts transported on the ship ‘Lady Raffles’, and arrives in Tasmania on St. Patrick’s Day, 17 March 1841.

What is interesting to me is that, based on the newspaper report, he seems to be convicted purely on the eyewitness evidence of Ms Norton and Ms Wood, who place him at the broken window.  But there is no mention of him being caught red-handed with the watch for example.  Samuel's father was a silver smith, so whatever about being caught stealing, it would surely have brought real dishonour to the family name if the son of a silver smith was stealing from a jeweller.  the crime was only a couple of miles away from the family home.

Interestingly, his father Thomas lists Samuel as living at the family Road on Vauxhall Road with his parents when the next Census took place on 6 June 1841, but we know from the transportation records that Samuel was in Australia at this time.

Samuel must have settled well in Australia when his 10 year sentence was up, as he is living in Avoca, Victoria, Australia, when he does in 1893 aged 77.

Any help with getting a better understanding of his conviction would be very much appreciated.

Thanks in advance!

Family History Beginners Board / Re: John Perkins and Martha Richards married 1820
« on: Tuesday 14 April 20 15:08 BST (UK)  »
Thanks Annette!

Family History Beginners Board / Re: John Perkins and Martha Richards married 1820
« on: Tuesday 14 April 20 09:06 BST (UK)  »
Hi Annette,

Thanks for solving the mystery of Elizabeth Ellen!  I wonder how I wandered off the beaten track on that one.  I must have got confused at some stage with which Perkins  married into the Caswells, and mixed up Elizabeth and Rosina.

Can I ask how you determined that Frederick and Henry were twins?  Twins do run in the Perkins family - Thomas (brother to Frederick and Henry) went on to have twins of his own (Alfred and Thomas Jnr).

Thanks again for solving my Elizabeth Ellen mystery!

Hi Jo

I note that you say Rosenia married Joseph Castello in Dublin in 1865.  I followed this up, this is actually Joseph Caswell, who was the senior Foreman Boilermaker at The Works.  Thomas Caswell Jnr, son of John Perkins, is a witness for Rosina at the wedding.

What puzzles me here is that I know Elizabeth Ellen, who I had assumed was a daughter of John and Martha Perkins, married Frederick Caswell, son of Joseph and 'Rosina'.  So I must be wrong that Elizabeth Ellen was a daughter of John and Martha.

interestingly, there is a 14 year old Harriet living in the house with the Caswells in 1901 - further linking to your Thomas and Ann Perkins (who also had a daughter Harriet, born ~1815).

So I need to understand who Elizabeth Ellen Perkins was.

Thanks again for your help!

Family History Beginners Board / Re: Geneologist Birmingham area
« on: Monday 13 April 20 17:40 BST (UK)  »
Hi Rosie99,

yes this is the same family - for some reason I had missed the post by jo, which seems to be a good bet for John's parents.

I am still keen to get a recommendation for a genealogist for the Birmingham area though - I live in Dublin, and would really love to have some more doors opened.

PS love this forum, everyone is so helpful!

Hi Jo

Thanks for the very detailed response, and apologies for my delay in reverting, for some reason I missed this.  But this is a great help.

I have the details of John and Martha, as you've outlined (with the exception of Rosenia, who is new for me).  I did find another child of John and Martha, Henry, who died in or around his birth in 1839 I think.  And I think they may have also had another daughter, Elizabeth Ellen, but Martha would have been about 46 then, so I'm not so sure on this one.

John and Martha's son Thomas, came to Dublin after his discharge from the army, and he took up a position as a Railway Clerk, at The Works in Inchicore.  John and Martha at a much later stage (I would say in the 1890s) also came to Dublin, as did Elizabeth Ellen (likely earlier).  It's very interesting to me that you say Rosenia also came to Dublin, and married here.

Can I ask how you are confident on the link to Thomas and Ann being the parents of my John Perkins (b~1820) - is this on the assumption that John would have had the same trade as his father, as well as the mention of John on Samuel's criminal record?  I think the additional link is the two other brothers listed - Thomas and Henry.  John called his 4th son Thomas (the army Thomas), and as I discovered, his third son was Henry (who died as a young baby).

In addition, Thomas has a son George, born in Dublin in 1975 - maybe named after his uncle, the son of your Thomas, and the Elizabeth Ellen that I mention, may have been named after her cousin Eliza on your list of the children of Thomas and Ann.

So you message has been very useful for, but if you have any other thoughts on the link between John Perkins and Thomas and Ann Perkins, I'd be delighted!

Thanks so much again!

Family History Beginners Board / Geneologist Birmingham area
« on: Monday 13 April 20 16:39 BST (UK)  »
Hi, I am looking to get the assistance of a Geneologist in Birmingham England area, to help with tracing my Perkins family back from 1820. Any recommendations?

Family History Beginners Board / John Perkins and Martha Richards married 1820
« on: Saturday 31 August 19 14:29 BST (UK)  »

I’m trying to find out who the parents of John Perkins (Born Parish of Aston, Warwickshire, 1820) were. John married Martha Richards (also Born 1820) on 25 April 1836.

Any idea how I can get a copy of the birth record of John Perkins? It looks like the English GRO only goes back to 1837.

Any help much appreciated. Thanks in advance.

Family History Beginners Board / Re: Charlie Mac’s Ballroom - London 1960s
« on: Saturday 20 April 19 18:37 BST (UK)  »
Great suggestion - thanks!

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