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Charles Croden

Charles Croden, one of 296 convicts transported on the Cressy, 28 April 1843

Name, Aliases & Gender

Name: Charles Croden
Aliases: none
Gender: m

Birth, Occupation & Death

Date of Birth: 1822
Occupation: Gardener
Date of Death: -
Age: -

Life Span

Life span

Male median life span was 51 years*

* Median life span based on contributions

Conviction & Transportation

Sentence Severity

Sentence Severity

Sentenced to 10 years

Crime: Sheep-stealing
Convicted at: Somerset Assizes
Sentence term: 10 years
Ship: Cressy
Departure date: 28th April, 1843
Arrival date: 28th August, 1843
Place of arrival Van Diemen's Land
Passenger manifest Travelled with 295 other convicts


Primary source: Australian Joint Copying Project. Microfilm Roll 91, Class and Piece Number HO11/13, Page Number 292
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 1st June, 2011 wrote:

Charles Crowden, Robert Bernie, Catherine Bernie

Charles was born in Newport England in c1822.
On 28 March 1842 Charles Croden was convicted in Somerset, England of sheep stealing and sentenced to transportation to Van Dieman’s Land.  He was incarcerated in Leicester prison and he left Plymouth, England on the Cressy on 8 Apr 1843.  He arrived in Hobart Town, Van Dieman’s Land on 20 Aug 1843.
Charles spent 22 months at the Rocky Hills probation station near Swansea. Here hundreds of convicts in labor gangs under the supervision of a garrison of soldiers were building roads and bridges. Spikey Bridge on the highway 15km south of Swansea was built at this time.

‘When Charles La Trobe visited the station at the end of 1846 he found it disorderly and badly managed. The prisoners ‘were noisy in the extreme, badly clothed, their hair long and half of them barefooted’. He dismissed the officers on the spot. Road building and the isolated Rocky Hills Station in winter provided few opportunities for pleasure.’

He finished the 1st stage of probation on 20th April 1845 and was then assigned to farms till he received his Ticket of Leave in December 1848.
His convict record shows he was at Whiteford in May 1845, Jerusalem (Colebrook) June 1845, Mona Vale, Ross in December 1846,  Deloraine December 1846, and at several locations in the Port Sorell district through 1847-8.

The convict Robert Bernie (born c1796) was a labourer at the Northdown property near Port Sorell. Robert had a wife and seven children aged seven to nineteen, living in Donegal in Northern Ireland and in 1849 he applied for his family to join him.
The Bernie family sailed from Plymouth on the William Jardine in May 1849 and arrived in Hobart in August 1849. The shipping list in the Hobart Town Courier on 29 August 1849 has
‘Elizabeth, Alexander, Catherine and Mary Ann Briney and four children’
listed as passengers.
The Bernie family lived on the Northdown property.
After seven years of keeping her family of one son and six daughters together and alive through the Irish famine and then from Northern Ireland to Northdown, Elizabeth Bernie died (aged 50) within 18 months of her arrival at Northdown.
Elizabeth’s grave is in the private cemetery on the Northdown property.
Robert married Joanna Shean in 1857, and died in Launceston in 1876, aged 80.
Note. There are at least 8 variations of the spelling of Bernie.
(Bernie, Birnie, Burnie, Berne, Burney, Briney, Bierney are some seen in the records)
Charles sought permission to marry Catherine Bernie on 27 Aug 1850 and again on 29 Oct 1850.
Charles married Catherine Bernie (born c 1832) in 1850.  Their first child, Charles Alex was born in 1851 at Port Sorell. Charles’s birth record gives their place of abode as Moorlands. (near what is now the Devonport airport.)
Charles received a Certificate of Freedom in 1852, and soon after the family moved to Deloraine. 
A newspaper notice from 1855 shows Charles donating 1 pound 1s toward the building of a Presbyterian church in Deloraine. The 1858 valuation rolls show Charles as the occupier of 22 ½ acres with a hut between Barrack St and Westbury Place in Deloraine. David Crowden was born at Deloraine on 6 Nov 1859

By 1863 the family had moved to the Needles district. For the next twenty years Charles is a tenant farmer on the Kingsdon estate. On the estate tenants were given free rent in return for clearing 10 acres each year. It is likely that land clearing was a predominant activity through the 1860’s and 70’s.
A tragedy occurred in 1868 when ten year old Edward was killed by a falling limb.
Charles and Catherine’s 11th and youngest child, Clara, was born in 1874.

By the eighteen eighty’s Charles is occupying 472 acres of prime dairy land on the Kingsdon estate at Dairy Plains.
In 1883 Charles is selling at auction his stock and farm implements. Reports in the Examiner list the stock and sale items, and after the auction the stock report states

‘Buyers came from all parts including the Midlands and the Northwest coast. The cattle were all well bred and in good condition and the prices obtained highly satisfactory.’

In 1885 Charles owns hundred acres of land on River Road, Deloraine,  opposite Drumreagh homestead between the road and the Meander River.
Charles died at lower Drumreagh on 7 May 1905 aged 84. At the time of his death Charles would have been among the last of the Tasmanian convicts.
His estate was valued at 256 pounds, and was left to Catherine. (she is called Caroline in his Will)  Oral history reports that Charles was well educated; his convict record stated that he could read and write, but in 1895 he signed his will with a cross!
After Charles died Catherine lived at Don River, near or with her daughter Clara or son George.
Catherine died at Devonport in December 1913 aged 82.

Anonymous on 18th June, 2011 wrote:

the report on Charles Crodens trial
from the Bristol Mercury 2-4-1842

Somerset assizes

                  WEDNESDAY                     .
  SHEEP STEALING.-William Morgan (50) and Charles Croden.( 19) were charged with stealing a sheep, the property of James Mulford and Isaac Mulford, at Claverham. 
Counsel for the prosecution, Mr. Prideaux.
Isaac Mulford, one of the prosecutors, stated that the prisoners had been in the employ of himself and brother;  they kept some sheep, and
on Saturday last two were missed from the field; on the following morning he found the skin of one of them in a ditch;
the prisoner Morgan’s house was searched, and in the back-house the carcase of a sheep was found buried under ground ;
on being fitted to the skin found an the ditch, it matched exactly.
James Mulford detailed several conversations he had with the prisoner Morgan ;  in one of these conversations the prisoner told him that if he would search in his back-house he would find the missing meat ;  he said his lodger or his man (the witness could not recollect which)
brought it there; the pisoner Morgan was employed to take care of the sheep; Croden told the witness that he had put the skin in the ditch where it was found ; it was not, in the opinion of the witness,  possible for one person to have taken the sheep away.         
Mr. Cox, a butcher, assisted in the search at Morgan’s house ; 
he examined the skin found by Mr.  Mulford, and it was evidently not taken off by a butcher, being done so badly ;  he compared the skin with the meat found at the prisoner’s,  and was enabled to say that it
was taken from the skin.  The examinations of the prisoners
when before the magistrates were then put in and read ;
they were contradictory, and that of each prisoner tended to implicate
the other. 
Guilty.  Morgan 15, Crowder 10, years’ transportation

Convict Changes History

Ann Marie Gould on 13th June, 2020 made the following changes:

date of birth: 1822 (prev. 0000), gender: m, occupation, crime

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