Tuesday, September 14, 2010

UK Prison Hulk Registers

I've been a little quiet because I'm working hard on my ALLEYNE line and it's overwhelming (thanks to a lot of help that I'm getting).

Anyway Ancestry just released an index of UK hulks, on which prisoners were held. Hulks were old ships, moored (usually permanently) in harbors and serving as floating jails. Conditions were generally poor.

This is a rare 'mixed' post as I'm putting in information from various convict ancestors.

1. From the hulk 'Fortitude' (1837-1843)
5364, George Bliss, aged 20, crime: stealing meat, sentenced Maidstone (Kent), 3 January 1839, sentence: life, single, cannot read or write, occupation: labourer, Gaoler's report: Character very bad, once convicted + 4 times in prison for poaching, How disposed of: NSW, 'Parkfield', 8 May 1839.

He spent about five months on board the hulk before being transported (several more months on a ship).

2. From the hulk 'York' (1805-1836)
Reading, 2800, Edw Ewer, 23, crime: shop lifting, sentenced 28 Feb 1820, sentence: life, how disposed: 22 Aug 1821 NSW.

He spent more than 18 months on a hulk before transportation! On the same page are listed his three consorts in shoplifting, John Green (age 20), James Talbot (age 22), and Edward Wedge (age 23). It indicates that all three on 12 Jul 1820 (much earlier than Edward) - this is important as James Talbot appears not to have arrived in Australia, and so must have died in transit. If the surgeon's diary for their transport ship still exists ('Hebe') it should record his death.

3. From the hulk 'Hardy' (1805-1836)
There appear to be two separate books. These have been copied:
Priestly Saml, Conv before 1 time
York, Saml Priestly, 20, Stealing money, Sentenced Leeds 15 April 1833, sentence 14 years, How disposed: NSW 26 June 1833

He spent just over two months on the hulk.

My ancestors Jane Fletcher and Rowland Edwards were convicted too early to be captured in these records.

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