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Andrew Davidson

Andrew Davidson, one of 156 convicts transported on the Speke, 13 December 1820

Name, Aliases & Gender

Name: Andrew Davidson
Aliases: none
Gender: m

Birth, Occupation & Death

Date of Birth: 1797
Occupation: Seaman
Date of Death: -
Age: -

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 14 years

Crime: -
Convicted at: Aberdeen Court of Justiciary
Sentence term: 14 years
Ship: Speke
Departure date: 13th December, 1820
Arrival date: 18th May, 1821
Place of arrival New South Wales
Passenger manifest Travelled with 155 other convicts


Primary source: Australian Joint Copying Project. Microfilm Roll 88, Class and Piece Number HO11/3, Page Number 426
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

Maureen Withey on 22nd November, 2019 wrote:

Mr. Wallace, enquired of the Lord Advocate for Scotland, if anything had been done by His Majesty’s Government on behalf of the eighteen unfortunate men who had been convicted in Scotland in the year 1820, of what was called in those times, treasonable practices, whose names were as follow :— John Barr, William Clarkson, James Cleland, Andrew Dawson, Robert Gray, Alexander Latimer, Thomas M’Culloch, Thomas M’Farlane, John M’Millan, Benjamin Moir, Allan Murchie, Thomas Pike, William Smith, David Thomson, Andrew White, and James Wright. The Lord Advocate was happy to inform the Hon., Member for Greenock, that His Majesty had been graciously pleased to pardon the whole of these men, and instructions to that effect had been sent to New South Wales.

The True Colonist (Hobart),  7 Oct 1836

The Radical War, also known as the Scottish Insurrection of 1820, was a week of strikes and unrest, a culmination of Radical demands for reform in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland which had become prominent in the early years of the French Revolution but had then been repressed during the long Napoleonic Wars..
An economic downturn after the wars ended brought increasing unrest. Artisan workers, particularly weavers in Scotland, sought action to reform an uncaring government. Gentry fearing revolutionary horrors recruited militia and the government deployed an apparatus of spies, informers and agents provocateurs to stamp out the movement.
A Committee of Organisation for Forming a Provisional Government put placards around the streets of Glasgow late on Saturday 1 April, calling for an immediate national strike. On Monday 3 April work stopped in a wide area of central Scotland and in a swirl of disorderly events a small group marched towards the Carron Company Ironworks to seize weapons, but while stopped at Bonnymuir they were attacked by Hussars. Another small group from Strathaven marched to meet a rumoured larger force, but were warned of an ambush and dispersed. Militia taking prisoners to Greenock jail were attacked by local people and the prisoners released. James Wilson of Strathaven was singled out as a leader of the march there, and at Glasgow was executed by hanging, then decapitated. Of those seized by the British Army at Bonnymuir, John Baird and Andrew Hardie were similarly executed at Stirling after making short defiant speeches. Twenty other Radicals were sentenced to penal transportation.
It became evident that government agents had actively fomented the unrest to bring radicals into the open. The insurrection was largely forgotten as attention focussed on better publicised Radical events in England. Two years later, enthusiasm for the visit of King George IV to Scotland successfully boosted loyalist sentiment, ushering in a new-found Scottish national identity. 
In various towns a total of 88 men were charged with treason.
James Wilson was hanged and beheaded on 30 August watched by some 20,000 people, first remarking to the executioner “Did you ever see such a crowd, Thomas?”.
On 8 September Hardie and Baird were executed in Stirling, watched by a crowd of 2,000.
Thomas McCulloch, John Barr, William Smith, Benjamin Moir, Allan Murchie, Alexander Latimer, Andrew White, David Thomson, James Wright, William Clackson / William Clarkson, Thomas Pike/Thomas Pink, Robert Gray, James Clelland, Alexander Hart, Thomas McFarlane, John Anderson, Andrew Dawson, John McMillan and the 15-year-old Alexander Johnstone were in due course transported to the penal colonies in New South Wales or Tasmania. Peter Mackenzie, a Glasgow journalist, campaigned unsuccessfully to have them pardoned, and published a small book: The Spy System, including the exploits of Mr Alex. Richmond, the notorious Government Spy of Sidmouth and Castlereagh.
Eventually, on 10 August 1835 an absolute pardon was granted.
Source: Wikipedia

Tony Beale on 12th February, 2021 wrote:

New South Wales, Australia, Colonial Secretary’s Papers, 1788-1856 Copies of Letters Sent Within The Colony, 1814-1827
13/6/1821 Volunteered along with others to go to Port Macquarie to assist with the settlement
26/12/1822 returned to Hyde park Barracks from Port Macquarie
22/1/1823 On a list to obtain a ToL

New South Wales, Australia, Departing Crew and Passenger Lists, 1816-1825, 1898-1911 April 1823
Sally Classified as a labourer age 27 5’ 8 1/4 ruddy complexion dark hair and hazel eyes. Frpm Aberdeen has ToL no 21/240

Convict Changes History

Tony Beale on 12th February, 2021 made the following changes:

date of birth: 1797 (prev. 0000), gender: m, occupation

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