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Abel Blades

Abel Blades, one of 254 convicts transported on the Sarah, 29 November 1836

Name, Aliases & Gender

Name: Abel Blades
Aliases: none
Gender: m

Birth, Occupation & Death

Date of Birth: 1813
Occupation: -
Date of Death: 1862
Age: 49 years

Life Span

Life span

Male median life span was 57 years*

* Median life span based on contributions

Conviction & Transportation

Sentence Severity

Sentence Severity

Sentenced to Life

Crime: Poaching & violence
Convicted at: Northampton Assizes
Sentence term: Life
Ship: Sarah
Departure date: 29th November, 1836
Arrival date: 29th March, 1837
Place of arrival Van Diemen's Land
Passenger manifest Travelled with 253 other convicts


Primary source: Australian Joint Copying Project. Microfilm Roll 90, Class and Piece Number HO11/10, Page Number 409 (207)
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

Bill Middleton on 12th October, 2016 wrote:

Abel Blades 1813 - 1862
                Brief history about Abel –Living in Stamford and at the age of 23, his was height, 5ft 4 and a1/4inches tall, he had a fresh complexion, dark hair and hazel eyes, was married to Elizabeth Plowright with 2 children Anna and Hannah plus Elizabeth was pregnant with their third. He worked as a Farm Labourer and with two prior convictions for poaching. He was given sentences of 2, and 1 in goal also fined for trespass.
                Abel along with two brothers John and Francis were all caught Poaching, assault and wounding Lord Exeter’s Gamekeeper and resisting apprehension. They were sent for Trial at the Northampton Assizes on the 29 Feb 1836 they were originally sentenced to Death but it was commuted to Life and transportation. They were transported on the convict ship Sarah on the 22 Dec 1836.On arriving in Tasmania Abel was sent straight to Port Arthur for his part in an attempted Mutiny on board the convict ship Sarah on its way to Tasmania.
                Abel was in troubled with the authorities on a few occasions, which saw him goaled again at Port Arthur 1839 & 1840 where he spent two long terms of 12months hard labour in chains; from 1842 to 1845 he appeared to keep out of trouble as he obtained his Ticket of leave in 1845. A newspaper article on the 10th Feb 1849 reports that he has received a conditional pardon.
                In 1852 he became licensee of the Cross Keys Inn/Hotel. He married an Amelia Granger in 1851 but she died in 1856. Sometime in 1855 Abel started to cohabitate with a Frances Briggs and she had a child Henry Blades born in 1855. By Nov 1856 Abel had moved from the Cross Keys and was now the licensee of the Lamb & Flag. He also started a relationship with a Maria Perham in 1856 they had three children Abel born in 1856/57 a Maria born 1859 and Elizabeth in Jan 1862.
                He married Frances Briggs in 1856. Records also show they had three more children, Alfred born 1857, Susan 1859 (D 1861) and another Susan Caroline in 1862.
                Abel died aged 49 in 1862 on the 7th November. A death notice in the paper on the 13th of Nov states that he died at his residence, corner of York and Bathurst streets, (Lamb & Flag). When Abel died he was insolvent.
                I believe Frances stays in business for several months before she was involved in keeping a brothel (see article).
                Maria Perham on the 28th Nov 1862 went the police office and made a statement in which she was seeking to have her son Abel and I believe the other two children she also had with Abel put into an Orphanage, as she was not able to care for them. (Transcript p 208).   

Subject* Abel Blades (596)
Father* Abel Lowe Blades (592) (b. 1787, d. 6 Jan 1872)
Mother* Christiana Sharp (593) (b. 1792, d. 20 May 1875)
Birth* __ ___ 1813
Occupation* circa __ ___ 1830 Farm Labour,
Criminal* circa __ ___ 1830 Convictions for Poaching (2),- 2 months and 1 month, fined $5 for poaching and fined once for trespass,
Son                                 1832   Robert (Plowright) Blades; St Martin, Stamford Baron, Lincolnshire, England
  Born before Abel and Elizabeth were married, he was baptised in the name of Plowright
Marriage* 9 Jan 1833 Elizabeth Plowright (737) (b. 1812,); Stamford, Lincolnshire, England
  See Page 33 for history on Elizabeth after Abel was transported.
Daughter: __ ___ 1834 Ann Blades (738); Stamford, Lincolnshire, England
Daughter: __ ___ 1835 Hannah Blades (739); Stamford, Lincolnshire, England
Criminal* before __ ___ 1835 Newspaper reports tell of many incidents involving Abel, John and Francis including a number of times for trespass, assault on a constable, and goaled for poaching,
Witness: circa __ ___ 1835 History; The Sun Public House. The low social status of the Stamford area encouraged a proliferation of pubs. In Church Street in the late eighteenth century stood the Cross Keys, and next door, on the corner of Wothorpe Road, the Sun ( opened c.1826) which was renamed the Sun and Railway after the Midland Peterborough to Syston line was opened. This pub formed the west end of a long row of small vernacular houses, probably of seventeenth century date. Most of this range was demolished in the late nineteenth century and replaced by stone terrace, but the pub survived until 1958 when it was pulled down to make way for an industrial unit, then the site became Coulson’s coal depot). Today there are three townhouses built on the site.
After a supper of beef steaks and a ale at the Sun Inn, the Blades brothers and their friends headed south along Wothorpe Road to the township of Easton on the Hill intending to shoot a pheasant or two for the dinner table at Easton Grove Pits ... an action that irreversibly change the destiny of John, Abel and Francis,
Criminal: __ ___ 1835 Able, aged 23, was arrested along with his brothers John and Francis for “wounding persons with intent to resist apprehension”. The persons were Lord Exeter’s gamekeepers and the Blades brothers, along with two friends, when caught in the act of poaching, attached the keepers and managed to escape. On arrest the following day, a copy of a petition to the King - signed by 140 persons for mitigation of sentence of himself and his brothers - was found in John’s possession,
Criminal: 29 Feb 1836 Abel and his brothers were tried at Northhampton Assizes (an adjoining county to Lincolnshire). Following an initial investigation held at THE GOERGE Inn and a further examination at the House of Correction in Oundle before being committed to trial. Abel, John and Francis were sentenced to ’ life and transportation’. The records show that the Abel and his brothers were incarcerated on the 15th of May 1836 aboard a hulk the Leviathan for ten months in England before being transported.
Daughter: __ ___ 1836 Elizabeth Blades (740); Stamford, Lincolnshire, England
The 1836 Northampton Mercury newspaper report gives a graphic account of the incident and trial which led to Abel and his brothers being transported. This is the only document sighted that records a Death penalty. The sentence was obviously later commuted to ‘life and transportation,’
Transportation* 22 Dec 1836 Abel and his brothers John and Francis were transported aboard the convict ship Sarah which left the port at Spithead (near Portsmouth) for a 13,000 mile voyage over largely unchartered seas to Hobart.
Abel left behind a pregnant wife, and daughter.
The wife and children were left to fare for themselves in such hard times,
Mutiny* after __ Jan 1837 Mutiny on board the Sarah
Abel and John were among the ringleaders in a mutiny on board the Sarah when on the voyage out from England.
Abel was ironed for his part in the mutiny,
Criminal: 29 Mar 1837 Abel was sent straight to Port Arthur on landing along with his brother John, younger brother Francis was assigned to a land owner (Mr. W Sharland),

Criminal: 3 Oct 1839 New Town Probation Party - Absent without leave and also misconduct in getting out of Barracks after being locked up.
Sentence - 12 months hard labour in chains and recommended to be removed to Port Arthur,
Criminal: 15 Feb 1840 Port Arthur - Neglect of duty in charge of stores.
Sentence - 4 days solitary confinement on bread and water,
Criminal: 5 May 1840 Port Arthur - Gross misconduct in his capacity as clerk.
Sentence - 12 months hard labour in chains,
Ticket of Leave* 22 Apr 1845 Granted Ticket of Leave,
Conditional Pardon         c Feb   1849   Conditional Pardon granted
Marriage* 11 Dec 1851 Amelia Granger (741) (b. 1815, d. 7 Aug 1856); Tasmania
Marriage* __ ___ 1855 Maria Perham (764) (b. circa 1840,      ); Defacto relationship (Family Information
Son: 27 May 1855 Henry Edward Blades (743); (Frances Briggs), Launceston, Tasmania
Son: 27 Aug 1856 Abel (Perham) Blades (748); Records indicate 1857, Launceston, Tasmania
Marriage* 1 Nov 1856 Frances Briggs (742) (b. 1837, d. 27 Apr 1875); Launceston, Tasmania.
Son: 8 Jun 1857 Alfred Walter Blades (744); (Frances Briggs), Launceston, Tasmania
Daughter: 22 Jun 1859 Maria (Perham) Blades (749); Launceston, Tasmania (Family Information.).
Daughter: 25 Oct 1859 Susan Blades (745); (Frances Briggs), Launceston, Tasmania; No Parents name are given on Tasmanian Pioneer Records. Australian Vital records show parents’ names (Aust Vital Records.)
Daughter: __ Jan 1862 Elizabeth (Perham) Blades (763); Launceston, Tasmania (Family Information.).
Daughter: 6 Apr 1862 Susan Caroline Blades (746); (Frances Briggs), Launceston, Tasmania; Tasmanian Pioneer Records show her birth as 1864 - No Parents named. Records shown on Aust Vital Records
Death* 7 Nov 1862 Launceston, Tasmania

Convict Changes History

Bill Middleton on 12th October, 2016 made the following changes:

date of birth: 1813 (prev. 0000), date of death: 1862 (prev. 0000), gender: m, crime

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