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Joseph Crafts

Joseph Crafts, one of 106 convicts transported on the Active, Albermarle, Atlantic, Barrington, Britannia, Mary Ann, Matilda, Salamander and William and Mary, January 1791

Name, Aliases & Gender

Name: Joseph Crafts
Aliases: Craft, Croft
Gender: m

Birth, Occupation & Death

Date of Birth: 20th May, 1759
Occupation: Weaver
Date of Death: 13th June, 1839
Age: 80 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: Breaking and entering and stealing
Convicted at: Middlesex Gaol Delivery
Sentence term: Life
Ship: Active, Albermarle, Atlantic, Barrington, Britannia, Mary Ann, Matilda, Salamander and William and Ann
Departure date: January, 1791
Arrival date: 9th July, 1791
Place of arrival New South Wales
Passenger manifest Travelled with 1020 other convicts


Primary source: Australian Joint Copying Project. Microfilm Roll 87, Class and Piece Number HO11/1, Page Number 123 (63)
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

Denis Pember on 11th May, 2017 wrote:

Old Bailey Transcript (t17900424-19)  (http://www.oldbaileyonline.org)
Indicted for Breaking and Entering. 
24th April 1790
Guilty as charged.
Death; Commuted to Transportation for Life.

JOSEPH CRAFTS, JOHN CONWAY, and NICHOLAS MURRAY were indicted for burglariously breaking and entering the dwelling-house of John Mac Farlane , about the hour of seven in the night, on the 3d of March , and burglariously stealing therein twenty-four silk handkerchiefs, value 3 l. his property .
I am a slop-seller, No. 116, Cock-hill, Stepney. My house was broke open on the 3d of March; I was not at home; I went out, as near as I can recollect, it was dark when I went out; I returned about seven; there were a number of people about my house, and a few in my house; one of the shop windows was broken, the square of glass knocked fairly out of it, and a parcel of silk handkerchiefs missing that I had left in the window, amongst stockings, shoes, and other things, about half a yard from the window, on the shew board; they were so near the window that they might be taken from the out-side by stretching the hand pretty far: I never recovered the handkerchiefs; they were all new silk handkerchiefs, three dozen and two or three; they cost me between six and seven pounds: I found the prisoners, Conway and Crafts in custody, on my return.
Can you undertake to say, that that window was whole before you went out? - Yes, I can: candles had been lighted some time before I went out.

I am wife of the last witness. I was at home, and heard the square of the shop window break; I ran to the door and called stop thief! I saw a man; he said, I saw the man break the window; he caught him; and Joseph Crafts was brought into the shop; it was candle-light; I saw the handkerchiefs in the window not five minutes before, when I went to snuff the candle, which was in the shop; we never recovered the handkerchiefs.

JOHN COOKE sworn.  I am a constable. The prisoner Nicholas Murray came to me on the 4th of March, about eight in the evening, and said he wanted to be admitted an evidence in a robbery, and would not say anything till then; I went with him to Justice Staples; he admitted him an evidence; the other two were in custody before; on the 6th of March he was brought up to be examined again, and then he denied his writing or knowing anything of the business.
I was coming along near the prosecutor’s house, about seven, on the night of this robbery, and I saw the prisoner Crafts break the window; my wife was with me; there were three or four with him; I cannot speak to them: it was done on purpose, with his elbow; I saw nothing taken out of the window; I took hold of him the minute the window was broken; I stopped him instantly; he said, I suppose you are the father of a family, I hope you will not take my life.

I was with my husband, and saw Crafts break the window with his elbow; there were three or four with him; I do not know who they were.

Court to Cooke. Was you present when that confession was signed by the prisoner and the magistrate? - Yes.
“The voluntary information and confession of Nicholas Murray, who says, last night he, with Joseph Crafts , and John Conway , and another, went and picked several persons pockets of handkerchiefs, and a little beyond Shadwell Office, the same side of the way, Crafts broke the window of a house, took the handkerchiefs, and brought them to Mr. Moses, in Cable-street, who gave him twenty-five shillings for them, being twelve in number, and that he gave the other man twelve or thirteen shillings of the money”.
Court. It says here “taken and sworn.” Who is the magistrate? - Mr. Staples.

I was coming from on board the ship, and going past when they took me.
Court. As to this confession, it cannot be evidence against the other two, and it cannot be received as evidence against himself, because by mistake it is taken on oath.

Denis Pember on 11th May, 2017 wrote:

In the colony, Joseph married Sarah Robinson (Convict, 1801, “Earl Cornwallis”).  They married at St Philip’s, Sydney, 24th April 1810. Sarah had previously had relationships and children, with William Spears (NSW Corps, 1801, “Earl Cornwallis”)and also with James Peaulet (First Fleet Convict, 1788, “Scarborough”).
Joseph and Sarah had 6 children born between 1808 and 1825.

Denis Pember on 12th May, 2017 wrote:

Sainty & Johnson; 1828 Census of New South Wales:
Page 108…
[Ref C2974] Croft, Joseph, 58, absolute pardon, Albermarle, 1791, life, Protestant, labourer, Lower Portland Head, 15 acres in total, 11 acres cleared and cultivated.
[Ref C2975] Croft, Sarah, 44, free by servitude, Cornwallis, 1800, 7 years.
[Ref C2976] Croft, Joseph 20 born in the colony.
[Ref C2977] Croft, Edward 18 born in the colony.
[Ref C2978] Croft, William 15 born in the colony.
[Ref C2979] Croft, James 12 born in the colony.
[Ref C2980] Croft, Susan 10 born in the colony.
[Ref C2981] Croft, Phillis 5 born in the colony.
## The older children from Sarah’s previous relationships are recorded with their husbands.
Mary Morris and Sarah Webb.

Convict Changes History

Carole Andrews Kurz on 26th July, 2013 made the following changes:

alias1, alias2, date of birth 20th May, 1759, date of death 13th June, 1839, gender, occupation, crime

Denis Pember on 11th May, 2017 made the following changes:


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