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Alexander Agar, one of 289 convicts transported on the Thomas Arbuthnot, 06 January 1847
Name, Aliases & Gender
Birth, Occupation & Death
|Date of Birth:
|Date of Death:
life span was 61 years*
* Median life span based on contributions
Conviction & Transportation
Sentenced to 10 years
||Australian Joint Copying Project. Microfilm Roll 92, Class and Piece Number HO11/15, Page Number 149 (76)
||This record is one of the entries in the British convict transportation registers 1787-1867 database compiled by State Library of Queensland from British Home Office (HO) records which are available on microfilm as part of the Australian Joint Copying Project.
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Tony Cocks on 21st July, 2016 wrote:
Convicted: Westminster City General Sessions
Offence: Stealing a handkerchief
Sentence: Transportation 10 years
Classification: Success (absorbed into colonial society as a free citizen)
Alexander Agar was born c1829 probably in London.
Nothing is known of his childhood and early life prior to his being summoned to appear at the Westminster City General Sessions on 29/03/1843 accused of “Stealing a handkerchief”, found guilty and sentenced to 10 years transportation. Aged 14 he had apparently been employed as a Labourer. He was first sent to Westminster Bridewell as part of the normal holding arrangements and then, on 18/07/1843, transferred to Parkhurst Prison. His initial Gaoler’s report commented that he was “Quiet, Orderly”, was single but not recorded whether or not he could read and write.(i) During his imprisonment he was taught the shoemaking trade , it was confirmed that he could both read and write and according to the Parkhurst Prison Goverrnor he was “Generally good – does not always speak the truth”.(ii) On 01/01/1847 he was discharged from Parkhurst Prison in readiness for transportation to the Port Phillip District of the Colony of New South Wales as an “Exile”, that is, he would be entitled to a Conditional Pardon immediately upon arrival.(iii)
Alexander Agar eventually sailed aboard the “Thomas Arbuthnot” on 11/01/1847 as disembarking at Williamstown in the Port Phillip District on 04/05/1847. His disposal was marked “Not specified.”(iv)
There is then approximately a 7 year interval before further information on his life history becomes available. This is not uncommon. Quite a few of the Parkhurst “Exiles” became Shepherds, Domestic Servants on outback properties or went gold prospecting and as there were no prescriptive “monitoring” arrangements requiring records invariably a marriage is a normal point of re-emergence in tracing terms. In the case of Alexander Agar it was the birth of his first child, Alexander, on 23/10/1854 in Melbourne that marked his re-emergence.(v)
Although no confirmation has been retrieved it appears that Alexander Agar married Catherine Collins sometime prior to 1854 as she is referred to as Catherine Agar on the birth of Alexander above. She had arrived in Melbourne on 14/05/1849 aboard the “Pemberton” as part of the Irish Famine Orphans Scheme, aged 14 and born in Limerick, and had been employed by Mrs. Cadden, Post Office, Melbourne, as an apprentice at £5 p.a.(vi) The family history shows that 3 other children were born to the couple besides Alexander:
(1) Catherine in 1860;
(2) Edward William in 1862 but died in 1863: and
(3) Frederick William in 1864.
Alexander Agar died in 1904 aged 78 in Brunswick, Victoria, although his wife, Catherine, had pre-deceased him very early in 1874 aged 38.(vii)
(i): Parkhurst Prison Register, The National Archives, HO24/15, p.27.
(ii) Keith M. Clarke, Convicts of the Port Phillip District, Waramanga
(ACT), 1999, p.1 of 111 in the Section Exiles to Port Phillip 1844-1849.
NB: A large amount of the Parkhurst Prison information can be
substantiated by reviewing the website “Convicts to Australia”
deals with the convict ship “Thomas Arbuthnot”.
(iii): TNA, HO24/15
(iv): Keith M. Clarke
(v): Digger – Pioneer Index Victoria 1836-1888 (Year 1998), [CD-ROM].
(viii): Digger – Pioneer Index Victoria 1836-1888 (Year 1998), [CD-ROM]
Convict Changes History
Tony Cocks on 21st July, 2016 made the following changes:
date of birth: 1829 (prev. 0000), gender: m, occupation, crime