Author Topic: What happened to criminal ancestor?  (Read 786 times)

Offline russell12

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What happened to criminal ancestor?
« on: Sunday 27 January 19 18:08 GMT (UK) »
Hello everyone,

Since I’ve finished most my research on all my direct ancestors (I decided to stop at the 18th century since the tree was getting out of hand and too complex), I thought I’d focus on the indirect ancestors and see what interesting people I'd find;

I’ve been looking for aaaages for a death record - or some kind of information on a criminal ancestor who was sentenced to 7 years Penal servitude.

Name - George Bennett, alias 'Henry Simpson' or 'George Simpson'
Born on October 6th 1832 - though this is often listed as 1833, and for some reason he lists his age as being 23 on his criminal record (??)... though he clearly looks his age (27), and he lies about being a Roman Catholic  ???
Born and Lived in Bedmont (for some reason they spelt Bedmond with a 't' back then) Hertfordshire

He had a daughter ‘Phoebe Eliza Bennett’ (named after his mother ‘Phoebe’) and I presume his wife was called ‘Eliza’ though I have found no marriage certificate**! Likewise I haven’t found any more info on his daughter - I did find a burial record for a ‘Phoebe Bennett**’ for 1861 however (he wasn’t there for the birth, christening or the death since he was always constantly in prison for poaching offences).

** You will find a marriage record for a George and Eliza Bennett around 1856 - however these are not the same people since these two were still were still having children in the 1860s - when George was serving his 7 year sentence.

**This record would not have been for his mother Phoebe since she re-married to 'David Burridge' - whom seemed to have some problems with alcohol and getting into fights with other members of the family  :-\

In 1860 he is arrested with Henry Lee and sentenced to 2 years, 1 year later there is another trial regarding burglary and housebreaking to which he is then sentenced to another 7 years. On Henry Lee’s record there is info on the date he was released and where (to Milbank) but for Bennett there is no such info??

Which leads me to my question - what happened?

My direct ancestor ‘James Bennett’ eventually moved to Hambleden in Oxfordshire - but it doesn’t appear that his brother George followed suit.

After being released from a 4 year sentence for night poaching in 1859 he is advised from the local constabulary to ‘quit the country’ (I can't find the article to screenshot right now but when I do I'll post it) - and in 1860 for his trial he apparently bought tickets to the ‘Cape of Goodhope’ (which he did do - but used them as a ploy to distract the police - getting off the train at Watford and then walking back up to Kings Langley to meet with Henry Lee!!).





http://apps.bedford.gov.uk/grd/detail.aspx?id=8 - initial 2 year sentence

http://apps.bedford.gov.uk/grd/detail.aspx?id=23574  - 7 years after re-trial but no release date

He very often used the alias of ‘Simpson’ - he uses it twice infact! Once in 1853 for Highway Robbery he names himself as ‘George Simpson’ and then again in 1860 he refers to himself as ‘Henry Simpson’, so its possible that after leaving prison he may have started living under a new alias.



^ Listed as George Simpson - he actually lodged with Thomas Gulston and Hawkins.



^ When arrested in 1860 outside the church

http://bedsarchives.bedford.gov.uk/CommunityArchives/Luton/EstablishedChurchinLuton/ThievesAtSaintMarys.aspx

He could have immigrated - (highly likely after being urged by the police before to do so and having his mugshot distributed to Gaols around the country) or he died in prison  ???



^ His criminal record - the age and religion are both WRONG, but lists the highway robbery crime for 1853 in case there was any doubt it being the same person.

So - any help on this 'brickwall' would be great! It would be great to finally solve this mystery  :) and then I can move on with the other 200 people on my tree  :-[ ;D

Also - apologies on how bloomin long this post is - crikey!




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Offline Girl Guide

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Re: What happened to criminal ancestor?
« Reply #1 on: Sunday 27 January 19 18:44 GMT (UK) »
Hmm, rather a lot to take in isn't it!  :o

For the moment can you tell me when and where his daughter Phoebe was born?
Ashford: Somerset, London
England: Devon, London, New Zealand
Holdway: Wiltshire
Hooper: Bristol, Somerset
Knowling: Devon, London
Southcott: Devon, China
Strong: Wiltshire
Watson: Cambridgeshire
White: Bristol
Windo - Gloucestershire, Somerset, Wiltshire

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Offline russell12

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Re: What happened to criminal ancestor?
« Reply #2 on: Sunday 27 January 19 18:49 GMT (UK) »
She was born in Bedmont, Hertfordshire (listed on the birth record as St. Albans) and christened on Nov. 30 1856.

EDIT: I also found a burial for an 'Eliza Ann Bennett' in St. Albans for July 10th 1857 - however I cannot be sure it is the mother since Phoebe's birth record doesn't list her mothers full name only 'Eliza'.

Offline Girl Guide

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Re: What happened to criminal ancestor?
« Reply #3 on: Sunday 27 January 19 19:16 GMT (UK) »
So is this Phoebe's birth record then?

BENNETT, PHOEBE  ELIZA     TAYLOR     
GRO Reference: 1856  S Quarter in WATFORD UNION  Volume 03A  Page 273   

Mother's maiden name is Taylor.

I assume you have mother and daughter on census records somewhere?
 
Ashford: Somerset, London
England: Devon, London, New Zealand
Holdway: Wiltshire
Hooper: Bristol, Somerset
Knowling: Devon, London
Southcott: Devon, China
Strong: Wiltshire
Watson: Cambridgeshire
White: Bristol
Windo - Gloucestershire, Somerset, Wiltshire

Offline russell12

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Re: What happened to criminal ancestor?
« Reply #4 on: Sunday 27 January 19 19:22 GMT (UK) »
Ohh that's interesting! I haven't found any household census' for the two (I mostly use 'Family Search' though, so there may be records elsewhere I haven't found)

Here is the birth record I found on Family Search (unfortunately there is no image available):


Offline bevj

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Re: What happened to criminal ancestor?
« Reply #5 on: Sunday 27 January 19 19:47 GMT (UK) »
Probably a coincidence, but just in case:

Fremantle prison records

George BENNETT Convict number 6506
arrived 31 Dec 1862 aboard the York
Aged 30
Died 15 Mar 1885 at York.  He was married and a butcher by trade, recorded as semiliterate
Sentenced in 1861 to 7 years at Hertford, for Burglary
Had previous convicitons
Ticket Leave Date: 20 Jan 1864
Comments: General servant, self-employed as labourer 30 Jun 1866-10 Dec 1866, wood cutter

Bev
Weedon - Hertfordshire and W. Australia
Herbertson, Congalton, Paterson - Scotland
Reed, Elmer - Hunts.
Branson - Bucks. and Birmingham
Warren, Ball, Jones - Birmingham
Fuller, Bourne, Sheepwash - Kent
Brittain - Beds. and W. Australia

Offline russell12

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Re: What happened to criminal ancestor?
« Reply #6 on: Sunday 27 January 19 19:56 GMT (UK) »
Probably a coincidence, but just in case:

Fremantle prison records

George BENNETT Convict number 6506
arrived 31 Dec 1862 aboard the York
Aged 30
Died 15 Mar 1885 at York.  He was married and a butcher by trade, recorded as semiliterate
(He lists his occupation as a Butcher on his criminal record as well but I suppose this is more 'tongue-in-cheek' since he was arrested for poaching so many times)
Sentenced in 1861 to 7 years at Hertford, for Burglary
Had previous convictions

Ticket Leave Date: 20 Jan 1864
Comments: General servant, self-employed as labourer 30 Jun 1866-10 Dec 1866, wood cutter

Bev

Thank you for your response!

I've coloured everything that matches to George's description in Green and it sounds pretty promising  :o, do you know what the 'Ship York' was for? and where it was going? I'm very tempted to confirm this might be him!

Offline bevj

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Re: What happened to criminal ancestor?
« Reply #7 on: Sunday 27 January 19 20:00 GMT (UK) »
The York was the convict ship sailing from England to Australia.
https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/york/1862

George Bennett, one of 300 convicts transported on the York, 07 October 1862    
Hertford General Quarter Sessions

Bev
Weedon - Hertfordshire and W. Australia
Herbertson, Congalton, Paterson - Scotland
Reed, Elmer - Hunts.
Branson - Bucks. and Birmingham
Warren, Ball, Jones - Birmingham
Fuller, Bourne, Sheepwash - Kent
Brittain - Beds. and W. Australia

Offline bevj

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Re: What happened to criminal ancestor?
« Reply #8 on: Sunday 27 January 19 20:07 GMT (UK) »
If this is your man he didn't change his ways much.

12 October 1878,
Eastern districts Chronicle (York, Western Australia)

GEORGE BENNETT was charged by P.C. Eaton with being drunk and disorderly.  Fined 5s  or seven days. For using obscene or profane language he was fined a further 10s.

Bev
Weedon - Hertfordshire and W. Australia
Herbertson, Congalton, Paterson - Scotland
Reed, Elmer - Hunts.
Branson - Bucks. and Birmingham
Warren, Ball, Jones - Birmingham
Fuller, Bourne, Sheepwash - Kent
Brittain - Beds. and W. Australia