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William Adams

** community contributed record **

Name, Aliases & Gender

Name: William Adams
Aliases: none
Gender: m

Birth, Occupation & Death

Date of Birth: -
Occupation: -
Date of Death: 2nd February, 1798
Age: -

Life Span

Life span

Male median life span was 59 years*

* Median life span based on contributions

Conviction & Transportation

Sentence Severity

Sentence Severity

Sentenced to Life

Crime: Highway robbery
Convicted at: Old Bailey
Sentence term: Life
Ship: Scarborough
Departure date: 19th January, 1790
Arrival date: 28th June, 1790
Place of arrival New South Wales
Passenger manifest Travelled with 8 other convicts


Primary source: Old Bailey Proceedings Online (http://www.oldbaileyonline.org, version 8.0, 06 September 2020)
Source description:

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Community Contributions

Denis Pember on 6th September, 2020 wrote:

GEORGE RINESS, WILLIAM ADAMS, Violent Theft > highway robbery, 11th July 1787.
590. GEORGE RINESS and WILLIAM ADAMS were indicted for feloniously assaulting Charles Salmon , on the King’s highway, on the 24th day of June last, and putting him in corporal fear and danger of his life, and feloniously taking from his person, and against his will, four shillings and sixpence, and nine halfpence, value 4 1/2 d. his property.
I live at the Five-fields, Chelsea, I am a cabinet-maker ; at half after nine on the 24th of June last, the prisoners George Riness and William Adams attacked me on the high-road in Five-fields Row ; they were about the space of twenty yards from me when I first saw them; they were both together, they came up to me, it was quite light, at the distance of about five or six yards, I think it might be, Riness took out a bludgeon; and when they came up, Riness struck me on the neck; they said nothing to me before they struck me, they did not knock me down; Riness held me, and Adams rifled my pockets of four shillings and six-pence, and four-pence halfpenny in halfpence; I believe there might be more; after they had rifled my pockets, Riness said to Adams, holding up his bludgeon, b - r his eyes, shall I go it; Adams spoke very low; he said no, let him go, or let him pass, I do not know which was the word; then they let me go; they went away, I went to the sign of the King’s Arms, which I believe might be two or three hundred yards from the placewhere I was robbed, and I informed the man at the King’s Arms that I had been robbed; while I continued there about half an hour, a man came in, and said he and his wife had been robbed, and the men were gone to the next public-house; then I went home, that was about ten.
How long might they be committing this robbery on you? - I look upon it very near three minutes.
How were they dressed? - Adams was dressed in dirty clothes, with a slouched hat on, in regimentals; Riness seemed to be much cleaner in his clothes, his were regimentals.
Had you known either of the men before? - I never saw them before to my knowledge, I saw them again on the Tuesday, I think it was; I was robbed on the Sunday evening, I saw Riness on guard, and I was there when he was taken; I was taken to see them, to see if I should know the men that robbed me; I saw Riness on the parade, and I told Shepperd, the man that took me, that I thought he was the man; I was not quite sure at that time, that he was the man; Adams was taken the same day, but not on guard; I saw him the same day, I knew him immediately when I saw him; I cannot rightly tell the place where he was taken, I believe they call it Duck-lane, Westminster; I was sure as to Adams.
Where did you see him? - He was in his own apartment in Duck-lane in bed, when I saw him, I believe it might be about eight or nine in the morning; I saw Riness some little time before that; Riness was dressed very clean at the time I saw him, I went to his lodgings along with Shepherd, and he undressed there, and he put on some other regimentals; and then I was more sure.
How far was it from any house that you was robbed? - About twenty yards from the Half-way House, there were people in it, I did not cry out or make any noise, I saw nobody in the fields, but I met three gentlemen coming down the field, and I told them that I had been robbed; it might be two minutes after I was robbed.
I belong to Sir Sampson Wright; by the information I received, I was shewn Riness going home to get his clothes off, and there was Adams in bed; I went to the parade, the prosecutor was with me he pointed out the man to me, I went with Salmon to the lodgings, the serjeant desired us to go, that Riness might change his clothes; there we found Adams, I saw him laying in bed, it was the upper end of Duck-lane; this was on Tuesday the 26th of June, in the morning, between nine and ten, no property was found on them.
The prisoners both lodged in the upper part of the house that I now rent; on the 24th of June I had a bit of comfortable dinner, and I enjoyed myself more than I generally do; I asked those two men to dine with me; they set at the table that I sat at; they dined with me, it was about two o’clock; at eight they left my apartment, and at eleven I saw them return; they wished me a good night, and went up to their apartments; they were very civil men.
Between eleven and twelve on the Sunday, her husband came up stairs, and asked us to have a bit of dinner with them, we had some mutton and beans for dinner; we continued there till between four and five; then a young man, Bill the sawyer, came and sent for some beer, and we staid there till past ten; but about seven this woman went out of her own room up two pair of stairs, into another woman’s room, and this man along with her, and she never came into her own apartment till the next morning at seven o’clock; and she told her husband that she had been with Longley the chimney-sweeper all night.
I was with the woman from between seven and eight, till almost ten, in the woman’s apartment.
Mrs. Franklin. He went into the adjacent house, and was there some time with another woman, but not with me; he knows nothing of me; as near as I can guess, about eight in the evening he quitted my house.
Was he with you till ten at night? - No.
Not any where? - No.
Was he till half past nine? - No, I do not know where he went when he went out.
You are sure he did not go with you to any other room, and stay with you till ten? - No, he did not.
Court to Salmon. I think you told me, that when you was on the parade, you thought Riness was one of the men? - Yes.
Had any body pointed him out to you? - I did it upon my own account.
Did the drummer, or any other person, point out Riness as a person likely? - I believe the drummer pointed him out to Shepherd, for the drummer had been robbed by the same party.
Did the drummer point him out to Shepherd, before you had seen Riness? - No person had pointed him out to me.
But to any body else when you was present? - Not to my knowledge; I did not see Riness till after he was taken up by Shepherd; I was on the parade at the same time he was taken up, and that was the first time I saw him; Shepherd took hold of him when I first observed him, and I thought he was the man; he had been pointed out to Shepherd by a drummer for something else.
Prisoners. We have no witnesses.
Tried by the second Middlesex Jury before Mr. Justice WILSON.

Denis Pember on 6th September, 2020 wrote:

In the colony, William married Mary Morton (Convict, Mary Anne. The couple married October 22nd 1791.
They had three daughters born between 1792 and 1798.
William died 2nd February 1798, his burial registered on the 4th February.
Mary went on and re-married several times.

Convict Changes History

Denis Pember on 6th September, 2020 made the following changes:

convicted at, term: 99 years, voyage, source: Old Bailey Proceedings Online (www.oldbaileyonline.org, version 8.0, 06 September 2020) (prev. ), firstname: William, surname: Adams, alias1: , alias2: , alias3: , alias4: , date of birth: 0000, date of death:

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