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Isabella Black

Isabella Black, one of 170 convicts transported on the Emma Eugenia, 22 January 1846

Name, Aliases & Gender

Name: Isabella Black
Aliases: Halley (alias), Larkman
Gender: f

Birth, Occupation & Death

Date of Birth: 1821
Occupation: Farm servant
Date of Death: 1908
Age: 87 years

Life Span

Life span

Female median life span was 57 years*

* Median life span based on contributions

Conviction & Transportation

Sentence Severity

Sentence Severity

Sentenced to 7 years

Crime: Stealing money
Convicted at: Scotland. Stirling Court of Justiciary
Sentence term: 7 years
Ship: Emma Eugenia
Departure date: 22nd January, 1846
Arrival date: 5th June, 1846
Place of arrival Van Diemen's Land
Passenger manifest Travelled with 169 other convicts


Primary source: Australian Joint Copying Project. Microfilm Roll 92, Class and Piece Number HO11/15, Page Number 27 (15)
Source description: 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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Community Contributions

D Wong on 18th May, 2014 wrote:

This is from the research of ‘The Families of Waanyarra’.


The background stories of this man and his wife Isabella show them to be two of Waanyarra’s most interesting early pioneers.
Edmund was the fourth child of John Robert Thorp and Mary Ann Stevens who were married on January 12th. 1821. He was christened on the 15th. of October 1826, at the Stepney Spitalfields Christ Church in London.
A census shows the family lived in Fashion St. John was a porter of some description.
On the 13th. of June 1836 young Edmund pleaded guilty in the Old Bailey Central Court to having stolen four sovereigns and two half sovereigns from his father.
He could not yet have reached twelve years of age, but was sentenced to seven years transportation!
After sentencing Edmund was confined on the old prison ship hulk the “EURYALLUS”, probably for the whole of the fifteen months until he was placed aboard the convict transport ship “ROYAL SOVEREIGN” which sailed for Van Dieman’s Land on September 7th. 1837, arriving January 9th. 1838.
Perhaps he and his father organised this “robbery” so that the young lad could have a better life in the Antipodes? Maybe Edmund was indeed a bit of a rebel. His convict record shows that he gave the authorities many opportunities to punish him with solitary confinement on bread and water, hard labour and even instances of “stripes” with the lash.

Typical entries in Edmunds Convict Record include:-Repeatedly absenting himself from the muster grounds when confined thereto, and insolent conduct when reported—3 days solitary confinement on B & W. Pt. Ar. (Port Arthur)
Positively refusing to wash up a mess kit when ordered by an overseer—12 stripes on the breach. (Cleft or crack—“Backside”) Ed.
Secreting bread on his person contrary to orders—48 hours solitary confinement on B & W. Pt. Ar.
Making use of imperfect language and absenting himself from the muster ground—3 days solitary confinement Pt. Ar.
Misconduct in being on the racecourse without leave, representing himself further attempting to pick pockets—12 months hard labour.

Pt Ar. = Port Arthur B & W = Bread and Water

Edmund was given his freedom certificate in 1844.
He died in December 1885 and is buried in the Amherst cemetery where his burial plot is marked by a small bronze plaque erected by his descendants.

Isabella was born in Falkirk Scotland, circa 1820. From her criminal records we know that she had sisters Mary and Elizabeth, and a brother James. Her mother was Elizabeth.
Isabella was described as a country servant.
She married Alexander Halley on September 3rd. 1841 in the town of Stirling, Parish of Falkirk
On the 21st. of November 1842, Halley had been found guilty of robbery and assault, and exiled for seven years. At this time Isabella and Alexander had one child.
Halley arrived at Corio Geelong aboard the “SIR GEORGE SEYMOUR” in March 1845.

Like Edmund Thorp he had been taught the trade of shoemaking whilst in gaol.

Tried at the Stirling Court of Justiciary on April 21st. 1845 for stealing £86 from cattle dealer John Robinson, an assault and stealing a pair of boots, Isabella was sentenced to seven years transportation, twelve months gaol and twenty days gaol respectively. Her convict record shows she had been twice previously convicted and had “bad connections.”
Isabella arrived in Van Dieman’s Land on June 5th. 1846. She had travelled on the “EMMA EUGENIA”, a thirteen year old ship built at Whitby Yorkshire, the port where James Cook worked as an apprentice shipwright.

Edmund and Isabella must have met soon after her arrival—probably at the expiration of her six months gang probation—as their first child was born circa 1848, another in August 1850 and another in 1852.

They married in Hobart on the 21st. of February 1853. Isabella had been given her Ticket of Leave in November 1849 and her Freedom Certificate in April 1852.
Isabella must have decided to bury her past and forget all about husband Alexander and their child. She described herself as a spinster on her marriage certificate and gave her name as Black. She also knocked a few years off her age stating that she was twenty eight, when she was more likely to have been thirty three. Edmund also lost a couple of years!

Precisely when the family moved to Victoria has not been established, but they had set up home at Fryers Creek by mid 1854 when Amelia was born.
Isabella survived Edmund by almost twenty three years, eventually dying at the Bendigo Asylum in August 1908.
She was buried in an unrecorded location at the White Hills cemetery Bendigo. Her burial there is marked by a small bronze plaque in the memorial area established for the recognition of people buried in unknown locations in the cemetery.

Before marrying Edmund Thorp, Isabella married George Larkman (Pyramus 1839) and the child born in 1848, a female, was the child of Larkman, perhaps also the ones born 1850 and 1852.  No death date on George Larkman found so far.

Isabella was 4’11½” tall, could read and write, dark complexion and eyes, light brown hair, scar on forehead. A very pretty woman, nice photo of her, (which cannot be reproduced on this page) can be found at: http://www.waanyarra.com/edmund-and-isabella-thorp-2/

Convict Changes History

D Wong on 18th May, 2014 made the following changes:

alias1: Halley (alias) (prev. Halley (Alias)), alias2: Larkman, date of birth: 1821 (prev. 0000), date of death: 1908 (prev. 0000), gender: f, occupation, crime

This record was discovered and printed on ConvictRecords.com.au