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William Downham, one of 300 convicts transported on the Lady Palmira [Palmyra], 04 March 1846
Name, Aliases & Gender
Birth, Occupation & Death
|Date of Birth:
|Date of Death:
||15th March, 1909
life span was 54 years*
* Median life span based on contributions
Conviction & Transportation
Sentenced to 7 years
||Australian Joint Copying Project. Microfilm Roll 92, Class and Piece Number HO11/15, Page Number 37 (20)
||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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Rosemary Bruce-Mullins on 12th May, 2016 wrote:
1. Birth details from Ancestry.com.
DOB updated from dellerfamilytree.com from 1824 to 30 Sept 1821
Palmyra 1846 Convict ID No 501
transported on the Palmyra, August 1846.
tried at the Hereford Quarter session on 5 January 1846 and sentenced to seven years - embarked on 18 April 1846 arrived 23 August 1846.
Can neither read or write.
Transported for breaking into a hen house and stealing four ducks.
Goal report - first conviction
Married - 1 child
Surgeon’s report - well behaved
Trade - Farm labourer
Complexion - Ruddy
Head - Long
Hair - Brown
Visage - Oval
Forehead - Medium height
Eyebrows - Brown
Eyes - Grey
Nose - large
Mouth - large
Chin - medium
Native Place - Albury
Marks - mole on left arm, slightly pockpitted, scar on right side of mouth.
Probationary pass holder - 19 Aug 1847
Ticket of leave - 15 Jan 1850
23 May 1850 - Buckland - misconduct in being absent from his authorised residence after hours - 14 days solitary confinement
24 Oct 1850 - Buckland - drunk fined 5 shillings
13 Dec 1852 - Ticket of leave / misconduct in being in a public house tippling on a Sunday. Six months hard labour.
Certificate of freedom - 25 April 1853
Father - Samuel
Mother - Sarah
Brothers - James, George, Samual
Sisters - Emma , Sylvia
Agricultural Labourer in 1841 at Albury, Hertfordshire, .1
1. [S59] 1841 Census of England & Wales.
William Downham in the Australian Convict Transportation Registers ‘96 Other Fleets & Ships, 1791-1868
Name: William Downham
Vessel: Lady Palmira
Convicted Date: 5 Jan 1846
Voyage Date: 4 Mar 1846
Colony: Tasmania (Van Diemen’s Land)
Place of Conviction: Hertford, Hertfordshire, England
Source Citation: Class: HO 11; Piece: 15
Ancestry.com. Australian Convict Transportation Registers ‘96 Other Fleets & Ships, 1791-1868 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2007.
Original data: Home Office: Convict Transportation Registers; (The National Archives Microfilm Publication HO11); The National Archives of the UK (TNA), Kew, Surrey, England.
This database contains Australian convict transportation registers for ships arriving between 1791 and 1868. Information available in these registers includes: name of convict, date and place of conviction, term of sentence, name of ship on which sailed, departure date, name of colony sent to. Learn more…
William Downham in the New South Wales and Tasmania, Australia Convict Musters, 1806-1849
Name: William Downham
Arrival Date: 1846
Title: Ledger Returns A - R
Place of Conviction: Hereford
Source Citation: Class: HO 10; Piece: 38
Ancestry.com. New South Wales and Tasmania, Australia Convict Musters, 1806-1849 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2007.
Original data: Home Office: Settlers and Convicts, New South Wales and Tasmania; (The National Archives Microfilm Publication HO10, Pieces 5, 19-20, 32-51); The National Archives of the UK (TNA), Kew, Surrey, England.
The Mercury (Hobart, Tas. : 1860-1954) Tuesday 16 March 1909
DOWNHAM - On March 15, at his late residence Risdon. William Downham, in the 88th year of his age.
“Family Notices.” The Mercury (Hobart, Tas. : 1860 - 1954) 16 Mar 1909: 1. Web. 5 May 2014
Josie Andrews on 8th May, 2020 wrote:
Trial Record from Hertsfordshire
The information and complaint of Thomas Stubbing of the parish of Albury, farmer, taken upon oath the 30th December 1845 before the Reverend Armytage Gaussen, clerk, who saith, that on the night of Saturday, 20th December instant or early in the morning of Sunday, 21st December instant, my hen house at Albury Lodge farm in the parish of Albury aforesaid, was broken into and four ducks, my property, were stolen therefrom and from circumstances which came to my knowledge I suspected Benjamin Dellar. One of my boys knew something about the robbery. In the presence of Allen Bush, the constable, on Monday the 22nd day of December instant, questioned Benjamin Dellar respecting it. I sayd to him “I suspect you of being concerned in the robbery.” He answered “No”. I challenged him again and told him I was pretty certain he was concerned in it. He made for answer “No”, he did not know anything about it.” I told him I wanted him to tell me the truth and not any falsies – he then began to tell me about it when I checked him by saying whatever he sayd would be taken down before a magistrate and that I wanted him to tell me the truth and nothing else. From other circumstances I suspected the said Benjamin Dellar of the parish of Albury and William Downham of the parish of Albury aforesaid, labourer, both now present, the charge of feloniously breaking into my hen house aforesaid and stealing the said ducks from my property. On Monday, the 22nd day of December instant, when Benjamin Dellar was accused of being concerned in the robbery he admitted that he himself was one of the persons who committed the robbery. He sayd he had been sleeping in my stable on the Saturday night aforesaid and that the said William Downham came and called him up about eleven o clock that night. That he got up and Downham sayd “Come out and I tell you what I want you for.” That he went out and Downham went across the yard into the tool house and brought something with him. That Downham then went and broke the boards of the hen house and he, Downham, charged Dellar to stand on the watch to see if any one came. That Downham then told him to go into the hen house through the hole he had made and drive the ducks round to the hole so that he, William Downham, could catch them. That he Dellar did drive them towards the hole, but Downham could not catch them, and he Dellar caught them himself in the hen house and gave them to Downham through the hole – four ducks. That Dellar came out of the hen house and went with Downham to a field called Gravelpits, where they both killed the ducks. Downham took the ducks away, after they had killed them, in his smock frock to his, William Downham’s House and that after the robbery he slept at Downham’s house on that night – and this was related to me in the presence of the said Allen Bush, the police Constable, who sayd to Dellar previously to his saying anything it would be better for him to tell the truth.
Signed in the presence of Benjamin Dellar, William Downham and Rev Armytage Gaussen Thomas Stubbing.
The examination of Allen Bush, police constable stationed at the parish of Albury taken on oath this 30th day of December 1845 at Meesden aforesaid, in the presence and hearing of the said Benjamin Dellar and William Downham who saith, on Monday the 22nd day of December instant Mr Thomas Stubbing in my presence mentioned Benjamin Dellar of being concerned in the robbery of ducks the previous Saturday night. I told the boy Dellar it was the best way to tell the truth and that would be better for him – at the same time I gave him the caution that whatever he sayd would be taken down. He then began to confess and related all that Mr Stubbing has mentioned in his examination – the previous examination of Mr Stubbing being now read over to me in the presence of the two persons accused is what happened and what was told by the boy Dellar on Monday the 22nd day of December to Mr Stubbing and myself. Previous to Dellars confession on the Monday that on Sunday, the 21st day of December instant, I searched the house of William Downham and up stairs in the bedding I found part of a skimmed duck in a dish, between the feather bed and the straw bed. There was about half a duck and it appeared quite fresh as if it had been recently killed. I asked William Downham how he came by the part of the duck found, and he made for answer. “He knew nothing about it.” I found on the bushes in Downham’s farm a smock frock, a part of this being wet, having been recently washed. The smock frock, now produced, is the one I found in the garden and which I had seen William Downham wearing at Albury on the Saturday night of the robbery about ten o clock. There is blood on the arm and on the forepart of the smock frock. The blood on the forepart had been attempted to be washed out but not so the blood on the arm. On finding the smock frock, I took it into the home of Downham and he sayd “what are you going to do with my old smock.” I asked him how all the blood came on it, and he made for answer “he knew nothing about it” I also went into Gravelpit field on the Sunday after searching Downham’s House and in Gravelpit fields, I found on the hedge two or three feet above the ground, a quantity of duck feathers which appeared to have been lately plucked from the ducks. On Wednesday last, I went to Downham’s House again, and I saw his wife come from the home with some thing under her cloak which she carried into Mary Bishop’s house. I heard Mary Bishop say “I cant think why you come bringing things into my house – I wont have them, you’ll get me into trouble.” I saw Downham’s wife take something from under her cloak and cram into her pocket. I was close to her and immediately searched her person – and what I now produce I took from her pocket. It is a part of a duck or ducks – and she sayd “that is the same you took to Hadham and gave back to Downham.” but I have every reason to believe this is not the same as that part found in the dish on the bed was very small pieces.
Signed Allen Bush.
The examination of Thomas Rogers, bailiff, to Mr Thomas Stubbing of Albury Lodge Farm aforesaid, taken upon oath the 30th day of December, 1845 in the presence and hearing of Benjamin Dellar and William Downham who saith, on Sunday, the 21st day of December instant, I found the hen house had been broken open and that four ducks, my masters property, had been stolen some time the previous night. On searching about I found some ducks feathers, some on the ground and some on the hedge in Gravelpit field and I immediately told Allen Bush, the local Constable of it. On the Saturday night previous I had seen the smock frock, now produced, about eight or nine o clock, hung over the shoulder of the said William Downham who was wearing another smock frock at the time.
The mark of Thomas Rogers.
The examination of Hanna Bishop, the wife of Thomas Bishop of the parish of Albury, taken upon oath this 30th day of December, 1845 at Meesden aforesaid, in the presence and hearing of the said Benjamin Dellar and William Downham who saith, that on not Sunday week, the wife of the said William Downham brought a can into my house in the forenoon and asked if she might leave it there for a few minutes. I said “yes” and after she had left my cottage I looked to see what the can contained, thinking it was beer – on finding it was meat cut up I thought I had nothing to do with it and my child was made to carry it back to Downham’s House. Very shortly afterwards I saw Bush, the Policeman, in the yard of Downham’s House. It might be ten minutes. I am not aware that he had searched Downham’s cottage previously.
The mark of Hannah Bishop
The defence of William Downham late of the parish of Albury, labourer, brought before me the Reverend Armytage Gaussen, clerk, at Meesden in the said County and charged with feloniously breaking into the hen house of Mr Thomas Stubbing of the Parish of Albury on the night of Saturday, the 20th December or the morning of Sunday, the 21st of December instant, and stealing four ducks therefrom, the property of the said Thomas Stubbing. The said William Downham is told he needs not to say anything if he does not chose, but that what he does say will be taken down in writing – Says “the duck now produced is the same which was taken before Mr Carter at Hadham, when he desired the duck to be given back to me and I was set free from the charge. I do not know how the blood came on the smock frock and I don’t know who put it in the garden. I know nothing about meat being sent into the house of Mary and Hannah Bishop. The smock frock produced was hung across my shoulders on the Saturday night. It is not true that I wore it on Saturday night. The boy Benjamin Dellar cannot tell the storey before me which Mr Stubbing has declared the boy had told him.”
Before me this 30th day of December 1945 A Gaussen.
The said Benjamin Dellar also brought before me charged with the above offence and being told that he needs not say anything if he does not chose but that what he does say will be taken down in writing. For his defence he saith, “There is nothing to say beyond what I have already told Mr Stubbing. I have heard Mr Stubbing sworn and what he states is what I told him. What I confessed to Mr Stubbing, I did not confess because he and the constable told me it would be better for me if I told the truth. Upon hearing the confession that I made to Mr Stubbing, read over again, the same is what I did confess and the same is true. I had no share of the ducks or reward for assisting in the robbery. I felt myself obliged to get up and help Downham when he called me and I was afraid to do otherwise.”
The mark of Benjamin Dellar
Convict Changes History
Rosemary Bruce-Mullins on 12th May, 2016 made the following changes:
date of death: 15th March, 1909 (prev. 0000), gender: m, crime
Rosemary Bruce-Mullins on 22nd November, 2019 made the following changes:
date of birth: 1821 (prev. 0000), occupation