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Samuel Cliff

Samuel Cliff, one of 230 convicts transported on the Dudbrook, 17 November 1852

Name, Aliases & Gender

Name: Samuel Cliff
Aliases: Samuel Taylor, James Cliff
Gender: m

Birth, Occupation & Death

Date of Birth: 1808
Occupation: Labourer
Date of Death: 1860
Age: 52 years

Life Span

Life span

Male median life span was 56 years*

* Median life span based on contributions

Conviction & Transportation

Sentence Severity

Sentence Severity

Sentenced to 7 years

Crime: Stealing a sheep
Convicted at: Nottingham (East Retford) Quarter Sessions
Sentence term: 7 years
Ship: Dudbrook
Departure date: 17th November, 1852
Arrival date: 7th February, 1853
Place of arrival Western Australia
Passenger manifest Travelled with 234 other convicts


Primary source: Australian Joint Copying Project. Microfilm Roll 92, Class and Piece Number HO11/17, Page Number 572
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

John on 16th June, 2018 wrote:

Reported in the Nottingham Journal on 14th December 1849: “SHEEP STEALING. On the morning of Wednesday last Samuel Cliff, alias Taylor, who had recently taken up his residence at Clayworth, but who latterly was the landlord of the Brick-and-Tile public-house, at Moorgate, near Retford, was brought to the Retford Police-station by police-constable Plumbe, the resident officer at Gringley-on-the-Hill, charged with stealing the carcase of a sheep. It appears that Plumbe was on his round, at Clayworth, between nine and ten o’clock the preceeding night, when he met the prisoner with a sack on his back, containing something bulky, and on inquiring of him what he had got, received for reply that it was only dogs-meat, whereupon Plumbe insisted upon inspecting it, to ascertain its quality. For this purpose (there being a light in the Sun public-house) he took him thither, and on emptying the sack, it was found to contain nearly the entire carcase of a sheep, quite warm, and evidently just slaughtered. On Plumbe charging him with having stolen it, he denied the fact; but was detained in custody, and on the following morning, as stated above, was taken to the Retford Police-station. As soon as Superintendent Kinder was apprised of the fact, he despatched police-constables Massey and Plumbe in search of the skin and entrails, in order that the sheep might be identified, and the name of the owner ascertained. Proceeding in the direction of Hayton, they met a woman, the wife of the labourer of Mr. Peck, who resides at Bothamsall, but who had land in Hayton and Clayworth parishes, who informed them that a sheep had been slaughtered in one of her master’s fields. Proceeding thither they found the skin and entrails, and the marks upon the former exactly correspond with those upon the carcase. The prisoner will be brought up for examination to-morrow, and no doubt can be ascertained that he will be fully commited to take his trial at the next Nottingham assizes.”

Reported in the Derbyshire Courier on 12th January 1850: “SHEEP STEALING. Samuel Cliff, 41, was charged with stealing an ewe sheep, on the 11th of December, at Hayton, the property of Mr. William Peck, farmer, of Bothamsall. Mr. Wilmore prosecuted; the prisoner was undefended. Thos. Ashford proved, that he is shepherd to the prosecutor, who lives at Bothamsall. On the 11th of Dec., he found fifty sheep safe when he shepherded them. William Plumb, policeman, proved that on the night of the 11th Dec., he was on duty at Clayworth, when he saw the prisoner with a bag on his back, and on searching it, he found it contained the greater part of the carcase of a sheep, which was warm. He also found in prisoner’s pocket the knife produced, which had on it some wool. The next morning he went with Mary Ashford to a field about two miles off, and found a sheep had been slaughtered there, and took possession of the skin. Mary Ashford, wife of the first witness, proved that between nine and ten o’clock, on the 12th Dec., he went into Mr. Peck’s field, and found a sheep had been slaughtered, and gave the skin to Plumb. Prisoner, in his defence, made a rambling statement, and said that he found the meat he had with him when he met the policeman, in a field, to which his dog attracted his attention. Guilty.—Seven years’ transportation.”

D Wong on 17th June, 2018 wrote:

has him registered as ‘James’ Cliff.  He was listed as Samuel Cliff in the newspaper reports of his crime.

James/Samuel was married with 5 children, 49 years old, 5’7½” tall, dark hair, hazel eyes, dark complexion, proportionate build, cut on palm left hand; gunpowder mark on left wrist.

2/1853: TOL
Jan. 1854: CP

1860: WA BDM - Samuel Cliff, aged 57, died - Father, Mother, Place of Birth all Unknown.

John on 17th June, 2018 wrote:

Reported in the Derbyshire Courier on 1st December 1849: “ASSAULT AT CLAYWORTH. Samuel Cliff, alias Taylor, was bound in his own recognisances of £20 to keep the peace for 12 months towards his wife, Sarah.”

Reported in the Nottinghamshire Gaurdian on 28th February 1850: “REMOVAL OF CONVICTS. On the 18th instant, Robert Pollett, Charles Stafford, William Cooper, George Johnson, and Samuel Cliff, each sentenced to seven years’ transportation, were removed by Mr. Jackson from the County Jail to Millbank Prison.”

John on 18th June, 2018 wrote:

In the 1851 census, Samuel Cliff was a prisoner in Portland Convict Prison.


John on 11th November, 2018 wrote:

Samuel Taylor (alias Cliff) was born about 1808 in Hayton, Nottinghamshire, and was the son of Sarah Taylor. He was christened on 15th May 1808 at St Peter’s Church in Hayton. Samuel married Sarah Fenton on 21st September 1830 at St John the Baptist’s Church in Clarborough, Nottinghamshire. The couple lived in Hayton and had four sons: William Taylor in 1831, George Cliff Taylor in 1834, John Taylor in 1838 and Charles Taylor in 1841. In the 1841 census, the family (who were now going by the name Cliff) were living in Hayton in the household of a 70 year old farmer also named Samuel Cliff. In 1844, Samuel and Sarah’s fifth son, Thomas, was born in Hayton. The family would later move to the nearby village of Clayworth where Samuel was living at the time of his arrest. In the 1851 census, Samuel’s wife (who was now going by the name Taylor) was living in Clayworth with three of their five sons.

Christening record:

Marriage record:

1851 census:

Convict Changes History

John on 16th June, 2018 made the following changes:

alias1: Samuel Taylor, alias2: James Cliff, date of birth: 1808 (prev. 0000), gender: m, occupation, crime

D Wong on 17th June, 2018 made the following changes:

date of death: 1860 (prev. 0000)

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