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Charles Farley

Charles Farley, one of 290 convicts transported on the Norwood, 13 March 1862

Name, Aliases & Gender

Name: Charles Farley
Aliases: none
Gender: m

Birth, Occupation & Death

Date of Birth: 20th March, 1836
Occupation: Labourer
Date of Death: 1917
Age: 80 years

Life Span

Life span

Male median life span was 60 years*

* Median life span based on contributions

Conviction & Transportation

Sentence Severity

Sentence Severity

Sentenced to 7 years

Crime: Horse theft
Convicted at: Worcester General Quarter Sessions
Sentence term: 7 years
Ship: Norwood
Departure date: 13th March, 1862
Arrival date: 9th June, 1862
Place of arrival Western Australia
Passenger manifest Travelled with 289 other convicts


Primary source: Australian Joint Copying Project. Microfilm Roll 93, Class and Piece Number HO11/18, Page Number 414
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

Annette Poland Bergeron on 3rd December, 2014 wrote:

Information relating to Charles Joseph Farley and his family
has been accessed through the following sources:

England Births and Christenings 1538-1975
England Marriages 1538-1973
Western Australia Convict Index
Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages (Perth, WA)
The West Australian and various newspaper articles
Fremantle Prison Records
Karrakatta Cemetery Records
West Australian Police Gazette

Parents of Charles Joseph Farley:
THOMAS FARLEY was born 5 January 1812 in Upton Warren, Worcester, England and he married HANNAH STRIDE 2 February 1834, Upton Warren, Worcester, England.  He died about 1861, possibly around the time Charles was on trial for theft.  The 1841 Census (England) has Thomas living with his parents, Caroline and Charles; it is unclear where/why his eldest daughter, Mary, was living elsewhere at the time of the census. Thomas’ parents were John Farley and Ann Albert; they were married 10 December 1804 in Upton Warren, Worcester, England. 

Hannah Stride was born 1818, in St Thomas, Dudley, and Worcester, England, her parents being Richard Stride and Hannah Parkes.  There is a death record for Hannah Farley, 2 November 1836 (just prior to Charles’ christening).  Thomas and Hannah Farley had three children:  Mary Anne, Caroline and Charles.  The information I have on Mary Anne and Caroline is somewhat limited, but details are as below:               

MARY ANNE FARLEY - According to the IGI records, Mary Anne Farley was christened   12 August 1832 in Saint Martin, Worcester, England, approximately 18 months prior to her parents’ marriage.  I have not been able locate any further information on Mary at this time, although she appears to have been living in Birmingham about 1862, as when Charles was transferred from Perth to Bunbury (after his arrival in June 1862) he listed Mary as next of kin and her residence as Birmingham.

CAROLINE FARLEY – Caroline was born 4 January 1835 in Upton Warren, Worcester, England.  As mentioned previously, according to the 1841 Census (England) she was living with her grandparents, father and young brother, at her grandparents’ home.  She married Oliver Jew (1863) and had three children –Henry, Walter, Charlotte.  Caroline died 1881 in Worcester, England.

CHARLES JOSEPH FARLEY was born 20 March 1836 in Upton Warren, Worcester, England and christened 4 December 1836 in Upton Warren, Worcester, England.  According to the 1851 Census (England) Charles’ occupation was listed as a butcher, which could indicate that he was apprenticed.  Throughout his life, in England and Western Australia, Charles was constantly in trouble with the law, and I have transcribed various newspaper articles referring to him. 

The following newspaper items were forwarded to me by Paul Hudson of the Worcestershire History Centre, Worcester England, UK.



Charles Farley, 16, labourer, to having stolen on the 20th December, at Bromsgrove, a gelding pony, the property of Thos. Sturkey.  Six months’ imprisonment with hard labour.


On 15th July 1854, Charles Farley was convicted of larceny and sentenced to 8 months’ imprisonment.  (This is the only information I have on this case - ajb)



Charles Farley, 18, labourer, was charged with having false pretences, obtained 6s. from Sarah Cook, of this place on the 25th June last.  Mr. Selfe prosecuted.  The prisoner obtained the money by making use of the name of Mrs. James of the Swan Inn, in that place and he admitted his guilt to the Constable.  Guilty.  Six months’ hard labour.



Charles Farley, 19, was charged with stealing a pig the property of Henry Willis.  Mr. Byrne prosecuted; the prisoner was undefended.  Prosecutor:  a labourer of Upton Warren stated that he fed the pig in the sty near his house about nine o’clock on the evening of the 2nd instant, and missed it the following morning.  The pig was traced by P.C. Wakerman to a butcher named Reeve at Stoke, to whom it had been sold by the prisoner for 30s. he stating that his uncle was obliged to sell it to pay the rent.  Guilty.  Having pleaded guilty to three prior convictions, he was sentenced to four years’ penal servitude.

The following information is transcribed from a copy of Charles’ admission and discharge record for the above offence; the only difference being I have set it down the page (portrait) and not across the page (landscape) as per the original document.  The reason for this is that, I would not have been able to otherwise include all the information – ajb.

Register Number 4645
Name Chas. Farley
Age 19
Married or single,
Number of children S
Read or write both
Trade or occupation Labourer
Crime, date and place Felony (stealing a pig)
of conviction and previous conviction felony.
7th April 1856, Worcester Sessions
Sentence 4 yrs Penal Servitude
Date and place of 5th April 1856, Bromsgrove
Total of separate Worcester 5 months 1 day
confinement Leicester 14 months 18 days
Character and conduct Worcester – very bad
of prisoner since Leicester – not good
Residence of convict’s Sister, Caroline Jew
Family of next of kin S……moor, Worcester
Information relative to Convicted epiphany sessions 1854
previous convictions stealing a gelding 6 months
and character ditto – summer assizes 1854 stealing
4 rabbits 8 months
Ditto – Worcester sessions 1855 fraud 6 months
14 days misbehaviour and misdemeanours
Character bad
Religion Protestant
Date of reception in Leicester 8 Sept 1856
different prisons Portsmouth 26 Nov 1857
State of health Good – Portsmouth
Period passed in public Y   M   D
Works                         2   4   12 (Ports)
                        1   7   19 (Leic)
                        4   0   0
Final disposal Discharged at the expiration of his sentence 6 Apr 1860


UPTON WARREN – FARLEY, Joseph aged 28, labourer was charged with stealing, on the 7th of December, at Upton Warren a horse, the property of Edward Morris.  Mr. Best appeared for the prosecution, prisoner was undefended.  The horse was seen safe in prosecutor’s stable on the night of the 6th of December, and next morning was missed.  It was traced to the possession of the prisoner, who on the same morning offered it for sale to a man named Jones, near Primrose-Hill, Dudley requesting £7/10s. for it.  Afterwards he reduced his bidding to £5/10s. and told Jones it had better he worked in a pit as it had been stolen.  Jones, thinking all was not right, gave information to a constable, who went to a public-house where prisoner was staying, and asked him where he got the horse from.  He said he was sent with it to sell it by a man named Loach, and that his own name was Leach Loach.^  Subsequently he said that he had ridden the horse many miles during the night, and at last stated that he had stolen it from the prosecutor.  The jury without hesitation returned a verdict of guilty.  Prisoner, who had twice before convicted, and had only within the last few months returned from penal servitude, on being told that the sentence must necessarily be severe, said “I hope, Sir, you will give me the chance of coming back again.”  (Laughter).  He was sentenced to seven years transportation and laughingly said, “Thank you, Sir,” his conduct evidently showing that he considered the whole proceeding a capital joke.* 

underlining of text is mine – ajb.


HORSE STEALING AT UPTON WARREN – Joseph Farley, 28, labourer, was indicted for stealing a horse on the 7th December last at Upton Warren, the property of Mr. Edmund Morris.  Mr. Best prosecuted.  On the 6th Dec. last, the prosecutor’s horse was safe in his stable, but on the next morning it was gone, and a witness named Jones met the prisoner at Primrose-Hill, near Golden Cross, and was taken by him to a stable, to look at a horse, which he offered to sell him for £9. Eventually he offered to sell it for £5/10s., and on witness asking if it would be safe to work the horse on the line the prisoner said it “would be safe to work the horse in the pit, for it was a stolen horse.”  The prisoner also admitted to the constable who took him into custody that he had stolen the horse.  He was found guilty.  Two previous convictions were proved against the prisoner, and he was sentenced to seven years’ penal servitude.  On receiving his sentence, the prisoner, with a smile, said “Thank you,” and quitted the dock with the utmost alacrity.  Indeed, he seemed to treat the whole proceedings as a joke.*

^ This was probably not the first time Charles used an alias in an endeavour to get himself out of trouble.  On several occasions in Western Australia, he used the alias Thomas York Fairbrother.  A Thomas Fairbrother arrived as a convict on board the York in June 1862, so it is possible that Charles became acquainted with him at some stage and used the combination of Fairbrother’s name and the name of the ship as an alias.

*As noted by the newspaper reports, it is obvious that Charles had little respect for the Law and authority, and this continued after his arrival in Western Australia.

Note of interest:  Between 1854 and 1860 (7 years) Charles Farley only spent 11 months out of jail.

CHARLES JOSEPH FARLEY (convict reg #6295) arrived as a convict on board the ‘NORWOOD’ at Fremantle, Western Australia on 11 June 1862.  According to the ship’s Convict Register, Charles’ description is given as:

Reg No. 6295^
Name: Charles Farley
Age: 24 (should be 26)
Height: 5’ 1-1/2”*
Hair: Brown
Eyes: Hazel
Visage: Full
Complexion: Fair
Appearance: Middling stout
Marks: Ink marks left arm, ditto fingers
Trade: Labourer
Single, married, widower Single
No. of children none

^Once Charles re-offended in Western Australia, he was convicted as a local prisoner, Convict No. 10036.  Both these convict numbers usually appear on all convict records after his first offence in Western Australia.

*When I first read the description of Charles, I was so glad to read that he was 5”11” tall (explains where my father got his height from), however I was soon disillusioned because on re-reading the document with my magnifying glass, I saw that Charles was only 5”1-1/2” tall (explains where I got my height from).


                                  Painting of the “Norwood”

The Norwood was built in 1854 in Sunderland. The owner until 1870 was John Henry Luscombe (1797-1883).  She was a convict transport which visited Western Australia’s shores with its human cargo on two occasions (1862 and 1867).  Norwood was a London registered 849 ton three-masted ship. She was an oak ‘late frigate’ hull type.  Her dimensions were length: 160 ft; beam 31.2 ft; depth: 20.5 ft; draught 15.0 ft. She underwent some changes to her cladding in 1860 and was in service until 1881, sailing from London to Australia, New Zealand, the Indies and Africa.  In late 1860 she served as a troopship, fitted with guns, taking soldiers to New Zealand to fight in the Maori Wars.

On her first voyage to the Swan River Colony, she left Portland, England on 16 March.  She carried the twenty fifth of 37 shipments of male convicts destined for Western Australia. On this voyage the Norwood took 85 days and arrived in Fremantle on
9 June, 1862 with 92 passengers and 290 convicts.  Captain Frank Bristow MN and Dr Alexander Watson RN were the captain and surgeon respectively. Bristow had been captain of Norwood for 15 years from about 1856 to 1870.  There were no deaths recorded on the convict shipping and description lists and 290 convict numbers were assigned for the voyage ranging from 6203 to 6492, all of whom arrived.

It is unknown where Charles was placed on his arrival at Fremantle, but within a few months, he was sentenced to a further three years gaol and transferred to Bunbury for stealing a kangaroo dog on 12/10/1862, and again for stealing on 10/5/1866.  He was convicted again for stealing a horse on 4/10/1871 and was sent to Bunbury on board the “Colonial” on 15 October 1871.

The following record is somewhat confusing as in the top section it states that Charles is ‘unmarried’, while further down it states he is ‘married’ to Matilda Cheveril. (Charles and Matilda were married in Perth, 1879).  The only explanation I can think of at the moment is that the latter half of this record has somehow become intermingled with information relating to later conviction records.  Charles was transferred to the Bunbury Depot# 15 October 1862 and again in 1871, to which the record below relates. 
FARLEY, Charles

Convict No       10036
Ship Name       Colonial
Birth Date       1838^
Marital Status     Unmarried
Occupation       Tailor
Sentence Place     Perth
Sentence Province   Western Australia
Sentence Country   Australia
Length of sentence 8 years
Sentence crime     horse stealing
conviction       previous conv
Ticket of leave
date           19 Feb 1876
Certificate of
Freedom date     12 Nov 1881
Certificate of
Freedom Place     Perth
Known areas       Fremantle, Swan
Married*        Matilda CHEVERIL
Comments         General servant, road worker, grubbing, labourer, cook, ostler, worked    
                    for self, 1879.

#it was on this conviction record that Charles’ sister, Mary was named as his next of kin and as living in Birmingham, England.

*Charles and Matilda were married 1879 (reg # 4753)

While incarcerated in Fremantle and Bunbury Prisons, Charles appeared to be in trouble on several occasions.  A convict register summary report has the following information:

Prev conv to Fremantle Prison 26/10/71; 8/5/76; 17/2.77; 2/7/78; 17/4/79
Reg No.10036 – date of sentence 4/10/71.  Entitled to T.L. 4/10/76
Arrived per ship ‘Colonial’.  Trade – tailor, single, read/write – yes, place of conviction – Supreme Court, Perth.

The following comments were also made with regards to Charles’ general attitude and behaviour and further convictions.

11/11/71 Idleness, 2 days bread & water
30/12/71 Returning to the Govt stables before the proper time.
          3 days bread & water
31/3/75 Remission 3 months for services lunatic asylum.
Discharged to T.L. 19/2/76
6/5/76         Refusing to obey his master’s orders – 1 month hard labour at Fremantle Prison
12/6/76 Stealing – 6 months’ hard labour – Fremantle Prison
10/2/77 Stealing a watch and chain – 18 months’ hard labour – Fremantle Prison
?/8/79         Absent from lodgings – 10/- fine.

Certificate of Freedom to P.M. Perth 12/11/81

From March 1865 Charles made many applications for his Certificate of Freedom, however with his continual criminal activities, this was not granted until late 1881.

Mar 19 6295 to CG 1 request for CF
    29 CG to Registrar refers 30/3/65 – eligible 2/4/66
    30 CG to 6295 2 informed
Dec 9 6295 to CG 3 again requests CF
    18 CG to 6295 4 suspended to 31 March ‘67
Apr 13 6295 to CG 5 again requests CF
    25 CG to 6295 6 CF suspended till 9/10/67 for reconviction
July 2 6295 to CG 7 again requests CF
    6 CG to 6295 8 referred to ??
Oct 9 6295 to CG 9 again requests CF
    17 CG to 6295 10 CP? on receipt of certificates
Jan 19 6295 to CG 11 requests CF
    30 CG to 6295 12 can’t have CF till 2 Aug ’68 owing to reconviction
Aug 24 6295 to CG 13 applies for CF (put by)
Sep 2 CG to 6295 14 may apply again 2/11/68
No date 6295 to CG 15 again applies for CF (put by)
Nov 3 CG to 6295 16 CF has been sent to RM, Vasse
“    “ 6295 to CG 17 again applies for CF
Jan 24 10036 to CG 18 requests remission
    30 CG to HE             recommends special remissions of 3 months
31 HE to CG       put by   approved
    31 CG to [ ]      19   informed
1875 CG to [ ] JP 20   informed
[ ] 16 [ ] to CG 21   forward petition of Farley for consideration of case.  Farley  
                              has behaved well.
17 CG to [ ]      must be content with remission already given him & his
                            Remission [ ].
1876 [ ] to CG 22 recommend remission of 4 days to enable Farley to enter Dr
                                Barnett’s service.  He is ordinarily due on 22nd inst.
Feb 19 CG to HE approved 22/2/76.  Notes returned Fremantle
Apr 19 [ ]  to CG 23 recommends revocation of TL
    20 CG to [ ]  Fremantle 24     calls for confidential report of case against Farley
    22 [ ] Frem to CG 25 furnishes report
May 5 CG to Fremantle 23 [ ] Farley to be cautioned. 
July12 10036 to Comp 26 Read petition against sentence of 1 month
    [ ] forfeit his [ ].
  13 Comp to [ ]  Attending for his remarks Farley made [ ] while serving his
                                sentence but [ ] gave him leave to petition
  13 [ ] to Comp Farley stole a bottle of rum from John Gee and was            
                              suspected of stealing a watch with it. [ ] any servant
                              discharged or misconduct
July 15 Comp to [ ]  Submitted – no grounds for interference
    21 [ ] to Comp         Farley having forfeited his wages by misconduct – I cannot
    21 Comp to [ ]        The noted returned ([ ] attached) 25/7/76 noted returned
Jan 15 10036 to Comp 27 inquires when due for Ticket of Leave.  (released 31/1/77)
Jan 18 10036 to Supt Const 28   petition against various sentences for stealing a watch
    21 Supt to [ ] F       referred for the remarks of the [ ] Fremantle
    22 [ ] F to Supt Const   returned with remarks – Farley’s story is false from
                              beginning to end
  23 Supt Const to Chief Warden I have made inquiry and find Farley story
                                        wholly false – I am unable to give him a petition – 
  25 Chief Warden to Supt   noted and returned
Jun17 10036 to Supt 29 asks when due T/Leave – begs some remission for
                                      services as orderly at asylum
  21 Supt to HE recommends remission of 1 month going [ ] for services as
  27 HE to Supt         to inform 10036 C. Farley 2/7/78 Returned
Jun 12 10036 to Comp 30 Telegram – Am I free (answered Free on 3 Nov 1881
Jul 27 Rev’d J Allen to 31   appeals on behalf of Farley who is paralysed and his
  Comp                           wife very ill: requires some assistance
  30 Comp to Rev’d   32 acknowledges 31 – Farley is a T of L holder and will
          Allen                       not be free till 4/11/81. T of L holders cannot be
                                      granted outdoor relief – all that I can do for Farley
                                      is to admit him to Fremantle hospital
Jun 27 10036 to Comp 33 requests CF
    29 Comp to 10036 34 CF on 4/11/81 if free from report
Oct 31 10036 to Comp 35 again requests CF
Nov 12 Comp to 10036 36 CF has been sent to PM Perth

During his times of incarceration, Charles was admitted to the Fremantle Prison Hospital on several occasions – most reasons are unexplained, however on one occasion he was admitted with severe eye infecti

Convict Changes History

Annette Poland Bergeron on 3rd December, 2014 made the following changes:

date of birth: 20th March, 1836 (prev. 0000), date of death: 1917 (prev. 0000), gender: m, occupation, crime

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