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Charles Burgess

Charles Burgess, one of 200 convicts transported on the Norfolk, 20 May 1829

Name, Aliases & Gender

Name: Charles Burgess
Aliases: none
Gender: m

Birth, Occupation & Death

Date of Birth: 20th September, 1796
Occupation: Ploughman
Date of Death: 2nd January, 1903
Age: 106 years

Life Span

Life span

Male median life span was 61 years*

* Median life span based on contributions

Conviction & Transportation

Sentence Severity

Sentence Severity

Sentenced to 7 years

Crime: Stealing potatoes
Convicted at: Wilts Assizes
Sentence term: 7 years
Ship: Norfolk
Departure date: 20th May, 1829
Arrival date: 27th August, 1829
Place of arrival New South Wales
Passenger manifest Travelled with 200 other convicts

References

Primary source: Australian Joint Copying Project. Microfilm Roll 89, Class and Piece Number HO11/7, Page Number 70
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

Anonymous on 20th April, 2012 wrote:

Charles Burgess was 25 when transported.  He was married to Bithiah Boulter in 1828 and had 1 child, both of whom he had to leave behind.
He married Mary Casey in 1837 and then Jane Brien in 1870.
Charles died at Cockfighter’s Creek, Wollombi, nsw on the 2/1/1903.

From the Wiltshire Newspapers: 1825 Charles Burgess of Edington, sentenced to 6 months in the House of Correction for breaches of the game laws.

1834: TOL Dist/Merton.

27/5/1836: COF.

7/11/1846: Maitland Mercury - A horse supposed to have strayed or to have been stolen is now running at the Stock-yard Creek, Wollombi, where the owner can have him on application to the undersigned and paying the expenses.  Signed Charled Burgess, Cockfighter’s Creek, Wollombi.
(Apparently the stealing cattle charge may have been because of the lack of fencing in the area at that time and also people walking off the properties in hard times and leaving the stock roaming free.)

Deposition Registers: 4/8/1858 - Stealing Cattle, Trial at Maitland.
28/10/1862: Obtaining money by false pretences - Bathurst.
5/3/1867: Grenfell - Larceny - Tried Bathurst.

Janice Macpherson on 24th November, 2012 wrote:

The Norfolk (2) left Spithead 22/5/1829 and arrived in Sydney 27/8/1829, creating a record fast 97 day trip.
Certificate of freedom granted 27/5/1836 and land was aquired at Cockfighter creek in 1852.

Maureen Withey on 15th April, 2019 wrote:

Wilts Lent Assizes
Charles Burgess, James Bayley, James Fatt, Wm. Stokes, and Charles Kitt, were indicted for stealing four sacks of potatoes, from Mrs Tabitha White, in the parish of Eddington, on the night of the 4th Feb.  The prisoners were five as fine looking young men, as it is possible to see placed together.
John White, a farmer at Eddington, lives with his brothers along with his mother.  In a field adjoining the house, they had a potato pit; it contained 19 sacks; on going to the pit on the morning of the 5th, he discovered that it had been broken into, and 4 sacks taken away.  The potatoes were the property of his mother.
James White is the brother of the last witness; they had lost some potatoes on the morning of the 5th.  Suspicion falling on Burgess, he and his brother went to his house; the distance was about 100 yards from his mother’s; they found some sacks in an outhouse, and from the colour of the mould about them, as well as from the potatoes, when compared with those in the pit, they were certain that the potatoes were their property.  There was another circumstance too, which tended to confirm this belief: the mice had made their way into the pit, and the potatoes in the bags, as well as those in the pit, had suffered from the little marauders.  Burgess had formerly a pit of his own, in another field; but the soil of that field was totally different from that in which the potatoes were grown; when before the magistrates, he said that he could bring persons to prove that he brought the potatoes from his own field. [The prisoner Burgess here interrupted, and said so he could.] Witness then saw the prisoners at Tinhead; they were on the other side of the hedge; heard Burgess say, “We must all keep to one story, and swear to what we will do.”  The prisoner Kitt said “How bad a thing it would be for anyone to swear false.” Burgess said. – “What bee’st thee afraid of a false oath?” on which they, as with one voice, said, “We’ll swear that that shall do; we’ll stick to them like bricks,” and then there was a general burst of laughter.  He was present when the examinations were taken down; they contained no confession, but, an avowal of the potatoes being the property of Chas. Burgess.
Elizabeth White confirmed the testimony of her brother, as far as regarded the appearance of the pit on the day after the robbery.  It was covered on the 4th, but open on the morning of the 5th.
Catherine Hurd deposed to all the parties being at her house at the Bear Inn, Eddington, on the evening of the 3rd.  They did not all come in together; they sat together; they had four pints of beer; they staid till 9 o’clock, and they all went out together: - A man of the name of Francis had a rudge of land; He had been working there a fortnight before the 4th Feb.; he knew that the potatoes belonging to Burgess had been carried away before those belonging to White were stolen.  When he looked at the pit all the potatoes were gone; the pit was quite empty.
Richard Burgess worked for Burgess at Eddington on the 3rd of February.  On that day he asked him to go and help him to steal some potatoes to help pay the fine he had to pay for poaching; he knew the prisoners well; was with them the whole of the day prior to the robbery.  All their conversation was about stealing White’s potatoes; they said they were going to Tinhead, and if he would go he would pay for his own beer; they went to a house and had seven pints. – The plan for the robbery was laid there; and soon carried into effect.  Fatts and the rest told him to say nothing; he never mentioned this till after they were confined; he was afraid to do so.
The Jury, after a very perspicuous charge from the Judge, found Charles Burgess guilty, but acquitted the others. – In passing sentence, the Judge told him that his crime was highly aggravated by his attempting to engage his companions to add perjury to his other crime – 7 years transportation.
Devizes and Wiltshire Gazette, 12 March 1829

Convict Changes History

Anonymous on 20th April, 2012 made the following changes:

date of birth 1804-00-00 (prev. 1803-00-00), date of death 1903-00-00 (prev. 1903-01-02)

Anonymous on 17th April, 2012 made the following changes:

date of birth 1803-00-00, date of death 1903-01-02, gender m

Janice Macpherson on 24th November, 2012 made the following changes:

date of birth 20th September, 1796, date of death 2nd January, 1903, occupation

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