Author Topic: More convict record problems  (Read 205 times)

Offline Davedrave

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More convict record problems
« on: Saturday 13 February 21 10:42 GMT (UK) »
I’m having trouble navigating my way around records for convict hulks again. Having been helped on RootsChat to find records of quarterly returns (HO 8 ) I have now also found some supplementary information in a register for “Leviathan”, HO 9) which tells me that one of the convict brothers I’m interested in could read, and the other read and write. I can download the register free from the National Archives. However, it seems that the volume I want for “Stirling Castle” cannot be downloaded from the NA, but only from FindMyPast. However, I can’t see what I’m looking for there.

I think it should be PCOM 2/134. The convicts were John and William Sayers, transferred to “Stirling Castle” 31/10/1844. Ideally I’d like to browse the register generally. Searching for them in this document on FindMyPast I’m drawing a blank (but it could be me losing the plot).

Dave :)


Offline Bookbox

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Re: More convict record problems
« Reply #1 on: Saturday 13 February 21 12:10 GMT (UK) »
On a search, I can't find these Sayers in that register. But if (as you say) you just want to browse PCOM 2/134, this is the opening page of the register on FindMyPast

https://search.findmypast.co.uk/record/browse?id=tna%2fccc%2fpcom2%2f134%2f00002

(The ref given inside is HO 110/134, but HO 110 was long ago incorporated into PCOM 2)

Offline hanes teulu

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Re: More convict record problems
« Reply #2 on: Saturday 13 February 21 12:26 GMT (UK) »
FindMyPast
The pair were transferred from Springfield Gaol to the Leviathan 1 Nov 1842.

I checked "Attested List of the Stirling Castle, Convict Hulk, Devonport, Quarter ending the thirtieth day of June 1843" - both John and William are listed.
I note at one point William's YoB changes from 1794 to 1780 in the records.

Was John pardoned 1846?
S. Wales, Somerset, Devon - Oxenham

Aberavon - Hopkin/s, Jenkins, Thomas
St. Brides/Wick - Jenkins
Llanblethian -  Price
Abergwynfi -  Han(d)ford
Pontardawe -  Lewis.


Offline Bookbox

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Re: More convict record problems
« Reply #3 on: Saturday 13 February 21 12:31 GMT (UK) »
Just for information, there's an earlier thread on this.
https://www.rootschat.com/forum/index.php?topic=843172.msg7099003#msg7099003

Offline Davedrave

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Re: More convict record problems
« Reply #4 on: Saturday 13 February 21 13:48 GMT (UK) »
On a search, I can't find these Sayers in that register. But if (as you say) you just want to browse PCOM 2/134, this is the opening page of the register on FindMyPast

https://search.findmypast.co.uk/record/browse?id=tna%2fccc%2fpcom2%2f134%2f00002

(The ref given inside is HO 110/134, but HO 110 was long ago incorporated into PCOM 2)

Many thanks, Bookbox. I used your link and they are on page 87, which I fortunately could search for using the new prisoner number they have in the “Stirling Castle” HO 8 returns. I’ve no idea why they aren’t indexed on Findmypast in PCOM 2. It is certainly useful information supplementary to the quarterly returns you previously helped me with because I now have a physical description of both of them too.

Dave :)

Offline Davedrave

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Re: More convict record problems
« Reply #5 on: Saturday 13 February 21 14:01 GMT (UK) »
FindMyPast
The pair were transferred from Springfield Gaol to the Leviathan 1 Nov 1842.

I checked "Attested List of the Stirling Castle, Convict Hulk, Transport, Quarter ending the thirtieth day of June 1843" - both John and William are listed.
I note at one point William's YoB changes from 1794 to 1780 in the records.

Was John pardoned 1846?

Thanks, this is interesting. According to the “Leviathan” record they were transferred to “Stirling Castle” on 31 October 1844 (the record that is available from the National Archives). Re William’s age, the error with his age seems to have entered the record quite early on “Leviathan”. He was 48 on conviction and 67 when he was pardoned five years later! Maybe he aged a lot in appearance during those years, and yet he lived to the ripe old age of 80, much older than other Sayers in my direct line. And this notwithstanding a further year’s hard labour when in his (real) 60’s for maliciously firing someone’s hayrick!

Dave :)

Offline hanes teulu

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Re: More convict record problems
« Reply #6 on: Saturday 13 February 21 14:30 GMT (UK) »
I did enjoy the reports of their trial. The the police were stumped with how they managed to spirit the fleeces away from the warehouse where William worked.
S. Wales, Somerset, Devon - Oxenham

Aberavon - Hopkin/s, Jenkins, Thomas
St. Brides/Wick - Jenkins
Llanblethian -  Price
Abergwynfi -  Han(d)ford
Pontardawe -  Lewis.

Offline hanes teulu

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Re: More convict record problems
« Reply #7 on: Saturday 13 February 21 14:38 GMT (UK) »
They were on the Stirling Castle as early as 31 March 1843
S. Wales, Somerset, Devon - Oxenham

Aberavon - Hopkin/s, Jenkins, Thomas
St. Brides/Wick - Jenkins
Llanblethian -  Price
Abergwynfi -  Han(d)ford
Pontardawe -  Lewis.

Offline Davedrave

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Re: More convict record problems
« Reply #8 on: Saturday 13 February 21 17:38 GMT (UK) »
They were on the Stirling Castle as early as 31 March 1843

I think you are probably being misled here by the rather confusing nature of the document. HO 8 Piece 81 is a volume comprising of the returns from the various hulks. I assume that returns were sent from each hulk and then copied by clerks in the Home Office into the volumes which are now held in the National Archives. This particular Piece (the record of the quarter ending 30 September 1844) begins with the records from  “Stirling Castle” at Devonport (images 3, 4 on Findmypast in the browser). The section devoted to this hulk is followed by the records for the same quarter from “Leviathan” at Portsmouth (images 15, 16). John Sayers,  prisoner 6625, and William Sayers, prisoner 6626, appear on image 22.

The press reports are indeed fascinating. The pursuit of the donkey cart by the policeman in disguise and the discovery of the soaking wet clothing hidden under a smock frock in the band box under the bed, oozing water, are highlights. I have two questions: how did John Sayers see where he was going as he rode his cart (maybe he ate carrots, or did they simply choose a clear night with a pretty full moon?) and why on earth did William hide his wet trousers and not simply hang them on a washing line, as he surely would have if they’d become wet whilst fishing? Maybe the suggestions of a drink problem referred to by his employer are close to the mark.

Dave :)