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William Farthing

William Farthing, one of 200 convicts transported on the Somersetshire, March 1814

Name, Aliases & Gender

Name: William Farthing
Aliases: none
Gender: m

Birth, Occupation & Death

Date of Birth: 1796
Occupation: -
Date of Death: 13th October, 1841
Age: 45 years

Life Span

Life span

Male median life span was 61 years*

* Median life span based on contributions

Conviction & Transportation

Sentence Severity

Sentence Severity

Sentenced to Life

Crime: Pickpocket
Convicted at: Old Bailey
Sentence term: Life
Ship: Somersetshire
Departure date: March, 1814
Arrival date: 16th October, 1814
Place of arrival New South Wales
Passenger manifest Travelled with 200 other convicts


Primary source: Australian Joint Copying Project. Microfilm Roll 87, Class and Piece Number HO11/2, Page Number 158
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

Denis Pember on 7th March, 2017 wrote:

Old Bailey Trial Transcript: (t18130915-92)
15th September 1813 (http://www.oldbaileyonline.org)
THOMAS WRIGHT and  WILLIAM FARTHING was indicted for feloniously stealing, on the 24th of July , a silk handkerchief, value 3 s. the property of   Benjamin Parkes , from his person .
  BENJAMIN PARKES . On the evening of the 24th of July, about half past nine, I was in the  Strand, between the New Church and Clement’s­lane . I felt some one behind me at my pocket. I turned round and observed the prisoner’s (Farthing’s) hand in my pocket. I had a silk handkerchief in my pocket at that time.
Q. At that time did you see the other prisoner ­ A. I did, he was on the left of Farthing, and in order to let them pass I looked into a shop? they passed me and proceeded forward two or three doors? I had a full view of the prisoners? I am certain they are the same men that was behind me when I felt Farthing’s hand in my pocket. I then passed them. They followed me. I did not observe that until a little time afterwards, when I felt some one behind me again. I looked round? the prisoner, Farthing, was on my right hand, and Wright on his left hand, the same as before. Soon afterwards I felt a hand in my pocket? my handkerchief was there then, and when I felt two doors further my handkerchief was gone. I immediately turned round when my handkerchief was gone, and the prisoners were gone. I then went back to Temple­bar? I saw two officers? I told them the circumstance, and that I could swear to my handkerchief. They went after the prisoners. I saw them searched? my handkerchief was found upon Wright.
Q. They were together when you found them ­ A. They were.
JOHN THOMAS . On this evening I was in company with Alverando? we apprehended the prisoners between the New Church and St. Clement’s church. They were together. We searched them? in Wright’s hat there was found two cotton handkerchiefs, and in his pocket three silk handkerchiefs. This is the handkerchief the prosecutor claimed.
Prosecutor. This is my handkerchief.
­ ALVERANDO. I am an officer. I was with Thomas. I can only corroborate what he has said.
Wright’s Defence. I leave myself to the mercy of the court.
Farthing’s Defence. What Mr. Parkes says is very wrong. Wright and I were not together.
WRIGHT, GUILTY, aged 21.
Transported for Life.
Second Middlesex Jury, before Mr. Justice Dampier.

Denis Pember on 11th March, 2017 wrote:

In the colony, in 1820, William married Mary Wilkinson at Castlereagh.  Mary was the daughter of George Wilkinson (Sailor, 1798, “Britannia”) and Sarah Coleman (Convict, 1798, “Britannia”).
William and Mary had 4 children.

Denis Pember on 11th March, 2017 wrote:

Sainty & Johnson; 1828 Census of New South Wales:
Page 143 ....
[Ref F0148] Farthing, William, 30, free by servitude, Somersetshire, 1814, 14 years, labourer and lodger at Hy. Blacksons Kent Street.
[Ref F0146] Farthing, Mrs, 23, born in the colony, Protestant, wife of William Williams [sic] Sussex Street Sydney.
[Ref F0147] Farthing, Ann, 8 born in the colony.

Phil Hands on 24th February, 2018 wrote:

Tried and convicted at the Old Bailey for pocket-picking, due to his previous record of 24 convictions, he was sentenced to transportation for life.
Left Spithead on 10th may 1814.
Ship:- the ‘Somersetshire’ sailed with 200 male convicts on board of which 1 died during the voyage.
Arrived on 16th October 1814.

William married Mary Wilkinson (daughter of sailor George Wilkinson & convict Sarah Coleman, ‘Britannia’ 1798) in 1820 at Castlereagh, they had 4 children between 1820-1824.
The couple were living at Windsor, when William was charged with being an accessory to a robbery committed in the house of David Weir at Castlereagh; he was sentenced to Port Macquarie to continue the terms of his original life sentence.
He was transported to Port Macquarie on the ‘Sally’ on 8th January 1825.
He was released and returned to Sydney 3rd December 1825.

Mary separated from William sometime before 1828 after returning with the family to Sydney.
William was still living in Sydney in 1828. By 1837 he was employed by Charles Blaxland at Merton.
He died on 13thn October 1841 at Cassilis, Hunter District, NSW aged 45 Years.
Mary died in 1829 age 26.

Convict Changes History

Denis Pember on 7th March, 2017 made the following changes:

date of death: 13th October, 1841 (prev. 0000), gender: m, crime

Phil Hands on 24th February, 2018 made the following changes:

convicted at, date of birth: 1796 (prev. 0000)

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