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Richard Cordwell

Richard Cordwell, one of 180 convicts transported on the Medina, 19 April 1825

Name, Aliases & Gender

Name: Richard Cordwell
Aliases: none
Gender: m

Birth, Occupation & Death

Date of Birth: 1800
Occupation: Gardener
Date of Death: 2nd January, 1875
Age: 75 years

Life Span

Life span

Male median life span was 54 years*

* Median life span based on contributions

Conviction & Transportation

Sentence Severity

Sentence Severity

Sentenced to Life

Crime: Highway robbery
Convicted at: Middlesex Gaol Delivery
Sentence term: Life
Ship: Medina
Departure date: 19th April, 1825
Arrival date: 14th September, 1825
Place of arrival Van Diemen's Land
Passenger manifest Travelled with 179 other convicts


Primary source: Australian Joint Copying Project. Microfilm Roll 88, Class and Piece Number HO11/5, Page Number 268
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

Richard cordwell on 25th November, 2017 wrote:

Married Eliza Fitzgerald 12/11/1837 at Bagdad convict arrived on the ship New Grove 27th March 1835. They had 7 children.

D Wong on 26th November, 2017 wrote:

Old Bailey:
RICHARD CORDWELL, SARAH WILKINS, Violent Theft > highway robbery, 3rd June 1824.

Offence: Violent Theft > highway robbery
Verdict: Guilty; Not Guilty
Punishment: Death
RICHARD CORDWELL and SARAH WILKINS were indicted for feloniously assaulting Elizabeth, the wife of William Arms, on the King’s highway, on the 13th of April, at St. Luke, Chelsea, putting her in fear, and taking from her person, and against her will, a shawl, value 6 d., the goods of the said William Arms.
ELIZABETH ARMS. I am the wife of William Arms . On Monday, the 13th of April, between nine and ten o’clock at night, I was at Chelsea, by the College ; I had walked seventeen miles, and had come from Colebrook to see my husband, who is a Chelsea pensioner - it was dusk - I was going down the road, and the prisoners met me; another woman was with them, whom I had seen before, but never spoke to her; she (the one not present) gave me a blow with her fist, and gave me a black eye, cut my eyebrow, and knocked me down; Cordwell then came and took my shawl off my shoulders, and kicked me in the breast while I was down; I am certain that he is the man, he took my shawl and gave it to Wilkins - they left me laying on the ground - I got up as well as I could, and was walking towards London, when Wright took me to the watchman, that I might go to the office next day - I was coming to London to see my father and mother, who live in town; I did not know where my husband was at the time, but was searching after him - the prisoners were in custody next day - I am quite sure of them both - I have not seen the other woman since. I was half an hour on the ground, laying to recover myself, as my eye bled; they left me the moment they got the shawl.
Prisoner CORDWELL. Q. Were you not fighting on that night - A. No; I was perfectly sober.
RICHARD WRIGHT. I am a hair-dresser, and live in Royal Hospital-row, Chelsea. On Tuesday night, the 13th of April, about half-past ten or eleven o’clock, I was standing at my door - they were turning the people out of the Duke of York public-house, and the two prisoners came out with them; I knew them before - there were a good many of them in company; I saw the prosecutrix coming down by the wall; a woman, who is not in custody, ran up to her, and rammed her against the wall with violence, she struck her in the eye; the male prisoner ran over directly and caught her by the shoulder, dragged her on the ground, kicked her, and gave the shawl to the female prisoner; the prosecutrix had fallen into the road; he kicked her while she was down, and when he had got the shawl, he wrapped it up and brought it to the female prisoner, who put it under her apron. I said to him,
“That it was too bad to rob and ill use a woman so.” The female prisoner said, “There is old Wright, an old b - , what is it to him?” I said
“I will not stand here to see a woman robbed;” an officer came up, I pointed them out, and they were taken directly; I had known them both before a good while; the man had run away, I described him, and he was taken. I am certain of them both. I cannot say whether the prosecutrix was sober, not having had any conversation with her.
JOHN DANCE. I am a Bow-street patrol. I was on duty at the Hospital on the 13th of April, as the pensions were being paid; and about eleven o’clock at night I came out of the Duke of York public-house, and heard Wright say,
“It is a great shame that a poor woman should be knocked down and robbed.” I went to him; he pointed out the female prisoner. I took her, and took the shawl from her hand; she had it behind her - Cordwell ran away, I left the female in custody - pursued, and found him in a house in Castle-yard, Jew’s-row. I had seen him before; Wright told me that it was Cordwell; I knew his name before - I had seen him a few minutes before, and he had a coat but when I took him he had a jacket on.
ELIZABETH ARMS. This is my shawl. I have a mark in the corner where I burnt it. I have had it a year.
WILKINS’S Defence. I was coming out of the public-house, and saw this woman on the other side of the way - several women and girls were round her, beating her. I saw the shawl on the ground, picked it up, and crossed over, and Wright said he saw this young man cross and give it to me. I had it in my hand intending to give it to her, when I got her from the crowd.
CORDWELL’S Defence. The woman was beastly drunk, and I never had the shawl.

Richard Cordwell was listed as 21 years old on arrival.  He was 5’8ΒΌ” tall, light brown hair, dark grey eyes, pockpitted, ring pricked on middle and ring fingers of left hand, S W H R C back of left hand, soldier flower pot inside left arm.

Native Place: Fulham.

6/7/1838: CP

2/1/1875: Richard John Cordwell (died Murray Street) (born England) 74 years old, Laborer, Senile/Gangrene - Informant, Eliza Cordwell, widow, Murray Street, Hobart.

Margaret Mills on 28th May, 2021 wrote:

Married: Eliza Bridget Fitzgerald 12th November 1837

Margaret Mills on 28th May, 2021 wrote:

They had 7 children:
Richard b:12th April 1841
Martha b: 26th January 1843
Catherine b:26 August 1844
Henry b: 20th June 1846
Mary b: 30th August 1848
Emma b: 16th May 1850
John b: 1853

Convict Changes History

Richard cordwell on 25th November, 2017 made the following changes:

date of birth: 1804 (prev. 0000), date of death: 6th January, 1875 (prev. 0000), gender: m, crime

D Wong on 26th November, 2017 made the following changes:

date of birth: 1800 (prev. 1804), date of death: 2nd January, 1875 (prev. 6th January, 1875), occupation

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