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James Dudfield

James Dudfield, one of 279 convicts transported on the Gilmore, 03 October 1838

Name, Aliases & Gender

Name: James Dudfield
Aliases: none
Gender: -

Birth, Occupation & Death

Date of Birth: 28th July, 1817
Occupation: Farmer
Date of Death: 13th September, 1905
Age: 88 years

Life Span

Life span

Median life span was 55 years*

* Median life span based on contributions

Conviction & Transportation

Sentence Severity

Sentence Severity

Sentenced to 15 years

Crime: Stealing
Convicted at: Central Criminal Court
Sentence term: 15 years
Ship: Gilmore
Departure date: 3rd October, 1838
Arrival date: 24th January, 1839
Place of arrival Van Diemen's Land
Passenger manifest Travelled with 277 other convicts


Primary source: Australian Joint Copying Project. Microfilm Roll 90, Class and Piece Number HO11/11, Page Number 340
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 11th July, 2011 wrote:

James Dudfield was born 28.7.1817 in Bath, Somerset, England.
Parents: Charles Dudfield and Anna Portch, who ran the Bell Inn in Bath.

James was transported for 15 years in 1838, for larceny in a dwelling house. As convict no. 22238, he departed Spithead (near Portsmouth), England on the ship ‘Gilmore’.  At the age of 20, James was 5 feet 7 inches tall, of sallow complexion, with brown hair, brown whiskers and blue eyes. He had an oval face and high forehead. He was single.

He arrived in Hobart Town, Tasmania on 24 January 1839.  James’ conduct record is CON31/12. Description list CON18/8/ Appropriation list CSO5/173/4085, MM3/7. 

He was assigned to Rev. S. Martin at Exton, 4 km west of Westbury (Appropriation list no. 1374).

Conduct record:
• 7 December 1839: offence and neglect of duty: 3 days in the cells. (Martin)
• 1 February 1840: disobedience of orders.
• 5 July 1843: idleness - 25 lashes

Married Ann Orwell / Orrell / Horwell, née McCero, aged 35, at Christ Church Anglican Church in Longford, Tasmania, 17.6.1847.

24 June 1846: recommended for a conditional pardon
21 or 29 September 1847: conditional pardon approved

• Charles Dudfield was born at Longford on 7 February 1850.
• A female child was born in Longford on 13 November 1851.
• Catherine Dudfield, born in 1852  
• Ambrose Dudfield was born at Longford on 5 March 1853
• Samuel Dudfield was born at Longford on 14 January 1855.
• James Fortch Dudfield was born at Horton on 14 December 1855.  James Porch Dudfield died at the age of one year at Emu Bay on 26 March 1857.
• Hannah Harbery Dudfield was born at Emu Bay on 15 March 1857. 
• Another female child, nameless, was born to James and Ann at Emu Bay on 18 December 1858.

In 1857 James was a gardener at Table Cape, Tasmania.

James and Anne Dudfield moved to the north coast town of Seabrook, just east of Wynyard, Tasmania, in 1865. They share-farmed with Rev.Wilkinson. In those days there was no bridge, so when making the monthly trip to Burnie for the mail, he had to wait at Somerset for the low tide, wade across the Cam River, [near Murchison Highway] collect the mail, and walk back to Wynyard.

By 1866 they were living at Emu Bay, later called Burnie.  They opened a bookshop in Arcade House, Wilson Street, Burnie, in the late 1870s, with the help of his daughter, Hannah, who married Thomas Haywood.

There is a replica of Dudfield’s general store in the Burnie Pioneer Museum.  The notice reads:
James Dudfield, as a young man, moved from the civilized environs of Longford to isolated Emu Bay about 1860, as a pioneer farmer.  Behind the Bay he began to clear a heavily forested block of land and develop a farm. He later became one of the first people to open a shop in Wilson Street, the original main street being Marine Terrace.  Dudfield’s establishment was on the west side close to Evans. His shop initially stocked books, stationery and gifts, but he later added grocery and hardware to his merchandise. He advertised himself in the 1890s as a provision merchant, grocer, ironmonger as well as selling books and gifts.  Dudfield’s shop was a general store in every sense.

Extract from a book by R. Hilder: Emu Bay Municipal Settlement 1863: 66-67:
Adjoining the three mile line and fronting on Mooreville Road (two blocks of land) was the rather large cattle run owned by Mr James Dudfield of Seabrook Creek Dairy Farm (Mr Dudfield and his family did not come to live at his Mooreville Road farm till 1865) So in 1863 it was occupied by a caretaker and his young wife … Alfred Downey was a hearty jovial man who had spent his early life in the Circular Head districts. And after Mr Dudfield took possession Downey was a well known workman of good character who could drive a team of bullocks or horses, use the axe or cross-cut saw … the land occupied by G. Downey in 1863 changed from Dudfield to Con O’Callaghan and then to John Freer*many years ago. Note: None of the blocks from James Dudfield down to the present West Mooreville Road were permanently occupied in 1863.

On 1.9.1883 James Dudfield bought 55 acres on Cooee Creek from the Van Diemen’s Land Company.

James died in Burnie 13.9.1905.

Lisa Bartlett on 4th December, 2017 wrote:

137. JAMES DUDFIELD was indicted for stealing, on the 21st of August, at St. John the Evangelist, Westminster, I pocket book, value 1s.; shawl, value 5s.; 2 handkerchiefs, value 7s.; 1 watch, value 2l.; 10s.; watch key, value 4s.; 1 work-box, value 2s.; 2 towels, value 2s.; 1 purse value 6d.; 1 sovereign, 10 half-sovereigns, and 1 £10 note; the goods monies, and property, of John Mansfield, in his dwelling-house.

ISABELLA MANSFIELD . I am the wife of John Mansfield, and live is Rochester-row, in the parish of St. John, Westminster. I have been there about three months—I knew the prisoner before that—he came occasionally to our house to see my daughter, whom he courted—he slept there sometimes, as my husband works out at night—on the 21st of August he asked me if I was’ not going to Camberwell fair—I said I did not know whether I was going or not—he was out with me—he said there was plenty of time if we did go, but we came home—I had been to the Bazaar with him—I at last said I would not go to the fair—about tea time I asked for him, and he was not in the house—I had given him a sovereign that day to take care of in the Bazaar—my daughter went up stairs after tea and found him there—I went up between seven and eight o’clock and. found he was gone—I missed two towels, and on looking further I missed a watch off the mantel-piece—I could not find my keys, and got Mr. Smith to break open my box, and missed from it a silk shawl, and a silk handkerchief, and another box containing many articles, a £10 note, and about ten sovereigns and a half—I had seen the things safe that day, before I went out—the little box was gone with its contents—I gave information directly—I did not see the prisoner again till he was at Queen-square, the day before yesterday—the small box and my pocket-book the officer has got—the note had been in the pocket-book—my silver watch is also here—I have looked at them, and know them to be what I lost at that time—the value of the goods is about 3l.

Cross-examined by MR. DOANE. Q. Do you let lodgings? A. Yes—I only had an old lady and her husband—I knew the prisoner before I went to live there—my daughter knew him before I did—it was this year, about the beginning of the summer—I cannot tell the month—I had known him about three months—this happened on the 21st of August—I left my daughter at home when I went out—there was another lodger in the house at that time, a Mrs. Davis—I went out about one or two o’clock, and came back a little before six o’clock—my things were all safe when I went out—I did not see the prisoner again till he was in custody—he used to come backwards and forwards to the house before, and slept there out of friendship—he proposed to be my lodger—my daughter introduced him to me.

ARTHUR BOWKER . I am a superintendent of the police at Bath. Last Monday I received information, and went to Bristol—I met the prisoner in the street there, and took him—I told him he was charged with a robbery at No. 2, Rochester-row, Westminster—he made no answer—I asked if he knew Mrs. Mansfield—he said, “Yes”—I searched him, and found this pocket-book in his pocket and a duplicate of a silver watch, pawned for 37s. in Skinner-street, and some keys—there was a young man with me—I asked him if he lodged at the same house as he did—he said, “Yes”—I and the young man went to that house and there found a box which the young man pointed out—one of the keys found on the prisoner unlocked that box—in it I found this rosewood box and a towel, which Mrs. Mansfield has examined.

Cross-examined. Q. I understand his parents are respectable people,

do you know them? A. I do—they keep the Bell Inn at Bath, and are very respectable people.

WILLIAM HENRY WALL . I am a pawnbroker, and live in Skinner-street. This is a duplicate of mine—I have the watch and guard which it refers to—it was pawned on the 18th of September for 37s.—I do not recollect who by.

FREDERICA MANSFIELD . I am one of the prosecutrix’s daughters. I remember the prisoner being at our house on the 21st of August.

HENRY WOODBERY . I am an officer of Queen-square. The prosecutrix’s house is in the parish of St. John the Evangelist.

MRS. MANSFIELD re-examined. This rosewood box is mine, and this watch, but not the guard—my name is on the towel—I can swear to one of these keys, but not to the others—it is rather a curious one, and is one of the bunch I missed.

(James Probert, of Lewisham-street, Westminster, deposed to the prisoner’s good character.)

GUILTY . Aged 20.— Transported for Fifteen Years.

Convict Changes History

Lisa Bartlett on 4th December, 2017 made the following changes:

date of birth: 28th July, 1817 (prev. 0000), date of death: 13th September, 1905 (prev. 0000), occupation, crime

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