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Hannah Fearn

Hannah Fearn, one of 122 convicts transported on the Broxbournebury, January 1814

Name, Aliases & Gender

Name: Hannah Fearn
Aliases: Feehan
Gender: -

Birth, Occupation & Death

Date of Birth: 1782
Occupation: -
Date of Death: 29th June, 1844
Age: 62 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 Life

Crime: Shop lifting
Convicted at: Warwick Assizes
Sentence term: Life
Ship: Broxbournebury
Departure date: January, 1814
Arrival date: 28th July, 1814
Place of arrival New South Wales
Passenger manifest Travelled with 123 other convicts


Primary source: Australian Joint Copying Project. Microfilm Roll 88, Class and Piece Number HO11/2, Page Number 151 (77)
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

Beth Kebblewhite on 13th September, 2019 wrote:

FEARN (or Feehan), Hannah (c1782-1844)
Tried - 30 March 1812 Warwick Lent Assize
Hannah aged about 30, was originally from Nottingham, whose main trade at that time was the textile industry. Her occupation was “penciller”, in which women “were employed to paint colours on calico for dress pieces, as at that time machinery was so incomplete that only one colour could be printed at a time”. Hannah was taken before the Warwick Assize Court (100 kms away from her home) in 1812, charged with shoplifting muslin at the shop of Mr Cadbury with Elizabeth Hyatt. She was given a death sentence, however was reprieved and transported for life.

After the trial, Hannah appears to have been separated from her friend Elizabeth. Hannah was first sent to the Colony in 1812 on the ship Emu and eventually landed at Sydney in 1814 on the Broxbornebury. Elizabeth would have been held in Warwick Gaol for nearly two years before transferring to the Broxbornebury in 1814. There was a happy reunion for the women who met again on the Broxbornebury.

Sentenced: 30/03/1812 at Warwick Lent Assize to death, commuted to transportation for life [with Elizabeth Hyatt]
Crime: Shoplifting (Source: http://www.ancestry.com.au England & Wales, Criminal Registers,  1791-1892, Class: HO [Home Office]27; Piece: 8; Page: 330). “WARWICK ASSIZE…Hannah Fearn and Elizabeth Hyatt for stealing muslin &c, in the shop of Mr Cadbury of this town, condemned…Ann Rowley for felonies…Jane Robinson for picking the pocket of Thomas Brown…transported seven years…”(Source: Warwick (UK) newspaper article, undated, circa early April 1812) [Note: Old occupation Penciller. “Another superior trade was termed “Pencilling.” Women were employed to paint colours on calico for dress pieces, as at that time machinery was so incomplete that only one colour could be printed at a time. The calico was woven by hand, and so strong was the material that it has been known to have served as a dress in succession for a mother, daughter, and granddaughter, and at last, when cut up, to form patches for a bed quilt. The improvement in printing by machinery ultimately destroyed the trade of “pencillers.” Sir Robert Peel’s father employed a number of young women in the art of pencilling in a large warehouse in Robert-street, off John-street, Rochdale, for many years. Mr. Robert Ogden afterwards occupied the same warehouse, in which to manufacture coarse woollen goods which went by the name of ‘Rumbullion.’” Source: Rochdale Borough Council (Lancashire) website
http://www.link4life.org/discover/local-history-online/trade-industry-and-transport/some-old-trades ]
Previous Occupation: Penciller
Age on Convict Indent (Brox): 32
Conditional Pardon 35 & 1031; Additional Information: Written next to ticket of leave column “allowed an Absolute Pardon see petition register 1843” (indent)
1814 Muster:
Mary Ann JENNINGS; Arrived per Broxbornebury, Status: C (Convict); occupation/Residence &c: Factory, Mustered at Parramatta; Victualling: On Stores (3364) (1st entry) [Note: Although the name was incorrect, it is most probably Hannah, already the “spouse” of Joseph Jennings. The Muster took place over 2 months & that explains 2 entries]
Hannah FERN (?), Brox, con, off stores, to J Parker, Sydney (6890) (2nd entry)
Joseph JENNINGS, con, General Hewitt, on stores, feller, Lane Cove (5714)
1822 Muster:
Hannah FEARNE (?), con, Brox, life, wife of J Jennings, Sydney (A07033)
Joseph JENNINGS, CP, G. Hewitt, 7 years (?), householder, Sydney (A11267)
1823-1825 Muster:
Anna (?) FEARN, con, Brox, life, housekeeper, Sydney (20535) & spouse –
Joseph JENNENS (?), CP, Gen. Hewitt 1814, 14 years, housekeeper, Sydney (26931)
1828 Census:
Hannah FEEHAN (?), 46, Brox, GS, life, prot, wife of Jos Jennings, publican, Market St, Sydney (F0263)
Joseph JENNINGS, 48, FBS, G. Hewitt 1814, 14 years, prot, publican, Market St, Sydney (J0308) also
[William DELVIN, aged 18, BC, nailer; Thomas WALKER, aged 23, GS, nailer, per Isabella 1821; Lydia Gardener, wife of Thomas; Joseph WALKER, aged 3, BC; Sarah WALKER, aged 6 months, BC. [From a story in the Sydney Herald 30/06/1836, the male child was named as “Joseph Jennings Walker” when he died in Sydney, aged 12. One family story claims that the child was adopted by Joseph & Hannah, but this is unlikely as his father Thomas Walker died as a convict in 1837.]
1828 to 1843 -
JENNINGS Joseph Publican Market St. 1828
JENNINGS Joseph Publican Bricklayers Arms Market St. 1830
JENNINGS Joseph Publican Bricklayers Arms Market St. 1831
JENNINGS Joseph Publican Bricklayers Arms Market St. 1832
JENNINGS Joseph Publican Bricklayers Arms Market St. / East Market St. 1833
JENNINGS Joseph Publican Bricklayers Arms Market St. / East Market St. 1834
JENNINGS Joseph Publican Freemasons and Bricklayers Market St. 1835
JENNINGS Joseph Publican Freemasons and Bricklayers Market St. 1836
JENNINGS Joseph Publican Freemasons Arms Market St. 1837
JENNINGS Joseph Publican Bricklayers Arms East Market St. 1837
JENNINGS Joseph Publican Freemasons Arms Market St. 1838
JENNINGS Joseph Publican Freemasons Arms Sydney / Market St. / Market St. east 1839
JENNINGS Joseph Publican Freemasons Arms Sydney 1840
JENNINGS Joseph Publican Freemasons Arms Elizabeth St. 1841
JENNINGS Joseph Publican Freemasons Arms Elizabeth St. 1842
JENNINGS Joseph Publican Freemasons Arms Elizabeth St. 1843
(Source: Earliest Pubs in Sydney (CBD) 1788 to 1848: Index to Sources & Listed by Name of Publican & Pub, Vol. 1 (2010), by Elizabeth Hook)
1830 –
Hannah FEARN received a Conditional Pardon on 11/03/1830. Described as arr per ship Brox. 1814, native of Nottingham, penciller, b1782, life sentence for shoplifting, 5’ tall, fair ruddy complexion, brown/grey hair, hazel eyes, “scar on centre upper lip, small hairy mole on chin”. (Source: SRNSW Convict Pardons, Reel 775, 4/4432, p69)
1843, 15 March –
Hannah received an Absolute Pardon on 15/03/1843. Hannah FEARN, per ship Brox. 1814, native of Nottingham, penciller, b1782, life sentence, 5’ tall, fair ruddy complexion, brown/grey hair, hazel eyes, scar centre upper lip, mole on chin. (Source: SRNSW Copies of Conditional & Absolute Pardons Registered; #5, Reel Number: 800; Roll 173; Volume number: 4/4489.)
1843, 18 Sept. –
“FOR SALE BY PRIVATE CONTRACT, the license and fixtures of the Old Established Public House, known an the sign of the Freemasons’ Arms, Elizabeth-street South. For further particulars apply to Mr. Joseph Jennings, proprietor.” (Source: SMH 18/09/1843, p1)
1845 –
“P MAHER is favoured with instructions, by the proprietor, Mr. Joseph Jennings, in consequence of removing from his residence, 113, Elizabeth-street, near Bathurst-street, to sell by auction, THIS DAY, 10th MARCH, At eleven o’clock, His Household Furniture, consisting of Tables, chairs, bedsteads, sofas, sideboards, mattresses, a large carpet, and different articles too numerous to describe, all in good condition. WITHOUT RESERVE.” (Source: SMH 10/03/1845, p3)
1850 –
“ABSOLUTE AND CONDITIONAL PARDONS. Principal Superintendent of Convicts’ Office, Sydney, June 4, 1850. The Absolute, Exceptive Absolute, or Conditional Pardons, granted to the undermentioned Individuals, being still in my office unapplied for; it is hereby notified that the parties in whose favour these Pardons have been prepared, are required by the Government within three months from this date to make application for the same, either at my Office, or to the Clerk of Petty Sessions of their respective Districts, and failing in so doing, they will become liable to all the consequences that may arise from their not possessing those Instruments. EXCEPTIVE ABSOLUTE PARDONS.
Fearn, Hannah, Broxbornebury, 1814” (Source: SMH, 22/06/1850, p2) [Note: Col Sec Dept. not aware of Hannah’s death the year before] [Also see this article re the changes in the Pardon system.
“Government Gazette. Friday, December 4, 1846. Conditional Pardons.
His Excellency the Governor directs it to be notified that it has been duly decided by her Majesty’s government to qualify, in the pardons granted to convicts in Australia, that condition which confined the effect of the pardon to the Australian Colonies, and to give to the convict, either colonial or British, the power of removing to any place where he may desire, provided he should not return to the country or colony from which he had been transported. Conditional pardons granted hereafter will, therefore, be available everywhere, save in the country or colony from which the parties to whom they may be issued may have been transported. It is further notified, that this arrangement is to have a retrospective effect, and that all persons who now hold exceptive absolute pardons, available everywhere except in Europe, or conditional pardons, available either in the Australian Colonies, or in New South Wales only, will have extended to them the benefit of this regulation, provided they have not disqualified themselves for receiving this indulgence by any colonial offence subsequent to the issue of their former pardons.
Those persons who are desirous of obtaining new pardons will apply, in writing, to the Principal Superintendent of Convicts, enclosing, at the same time, the pardons they now hold.” (Source: Maitland Mercury, 09/12/1846, p4)
1) Hannah Fern (?), spinster, married Joseph Jennings, labourer, bachelor, both of the parish, by Banns, on 18 Nov 1815, by Rev William Cowper at St Philips C of E, Sydney. [Joseph signed, Hannah X her mark. Witnesses were John Kelly & Thomas Faber] (V1815-194-7) [Note: No record of any children born to the couple]
2) Hannah Jennings, husband a publican, died 29 June 1844, residence Elizabeth St Sydney & burial service held at St Lawrence Sydney on 30 June. (V1844-256-29)
3) Joseph died 23 May 1856 at the home of his friend Mr Inspector Singleton, at the George St Police Station, aged 77 of “old age”. He was buried at Camperdown on 25 May. ALSO – “DEATHS. On Friday, the 23rd May, 1856, at the residence of Mr. Inspector Singleton, Joseph Jennings, at the advanced age of 77 years, leaving many friends to lament their loss. He was a resident of this colony for upwards of 40 years. The deceased being one of the oldest Masons in the colony, it is earnestly requested that the brethren will attend his funeral, which will take place on Sunday afternoon, at 3 o’clock precisely ; to move from Mr. Inspector Singleton’s residence, the Central Police Office, George-street. Brethren will be prepared with their regalia, to be used on the arrival of the deceased at the Camperdown Cemetery.” (Source: SMH 24/05/1856, p1) [Note: Joseph Jennings was a Freemason]

From the book “Journey to a New Life…” the story of the ships Emu & Broxbornebury by Elizabeth Hook (3rd ed. 2014). I am the author & can be contacted on hookey5609@yahoo.com.au for further info

Convict Changes History

Beth Kebblewhite on 13th September, 2019 made the following changes:

alias1: Feehan, date of birth: 1782 (prev. 0000), date of death: 29th June, 1844 (prev. 0000), crime

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