Friday, June 13, 2008

Edward Ewer Conditional Pardon

I recently received from the State Archives a copy of Edward EWER's Conditional Pardon. I was unsure what details would be included on his Conditional Pardon, and while it does not give any information regarding his residence or conditions, it does reveal a great deal of him.

Convicts with life sentences in NSW generally received pardons. A 'Conditional pardon' meant that the convict was treated as a free person as long as they remained in the colony. The vast majority of convicts granted pardons were granted a conditional pardon.

Edward had arrived in 1822 with a life sentence, received a conditional pardon (shown below) in 1835, and received a further 'Free Pardon' in 1841 that allowed him to return to England if he wished (he apparently did not). I am yet to receive a copy of the Free Pardon.

Conditional Pardon summary:

Edward Ewer, arrived in Mary (2), ship Master Arckoll, in the year 1822 under sentence of transportation for life. Sentenced at Berkshire on the 28th February 1820. Pardon provided on the condition that Edward Ewer continues to reside within the limits of the government for the period of his original sentence (life).

Native place: Windsor
Trade or calling: Baker and Servant
Sentence: Life
Year of birth: 1796
Height: Five feet, three and one half inches
Complexion: Fair-ruddy
Hair: Light
Eyes: Grey

Given under my hand at Goveevrnment House, Sydneym 14th July 1835
(signed) Richard Bourke
Governor NSW


This is quite a pleasing set of information despite not even stating Edward's abode. It confirms not only Edward's birth place (Windsor - actually Clewer) but his birth year. It also states his occupation as a baker, which he apparently took with him to Bathurst when the family moved there about 1841 (after receiving his free pardon I assume). This is also the first document I've found that describes Edward's appearance.

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