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Sophia Gunyon

Sophia Gunyon, one of 99 convicts transported on the Mermaid, 15 February 1828

Name, Aliases & Gender

Name: Sophia Gunyon
Aliases: none
Gender: f

Birth, Occupation & Death

Date of Birth: 1795
Occupation: -
Date of Death: -
Age: -

Life Span

Life span

Female median life span was 59 years*

* Median life span based on contributions

Conviction & Transportation

Sentence Severity

Sentence Severity

Sentenced to Life

Crime: Stealing
Convicted at: Middlesex Gaol Delivery
Sentence term: Life
Ship: Mermaid
Departure date: 15th February, 1828
Arrival date: 27th June, 1828
Place of arrival New South Wales
Passenger manifest Travelled with 99 other convicts


Primary source: Australian Joint Copying Project. Microfilm Roll 89, Class and Piece Number HO11/6, Page Number 312. Old Bailey - online. Tasmainian Archives, Conduct Record (CON40-1-3, Image 247)
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

Iris Dunne on 25th November, 2018 wrote:

Old Bailey:-
SOPHIA GUNYON, JAMES CHARLES GUNYON, Theft > theft from a specified place, Theft > receiving, 13th September 1827.
Before Mr. Justice Gazelee.

1603. SOPHIA (THE WIFE OF JAMES CHS.) GUNYON was indicted for stealing, on the 12th of August , at St. George, Hanover-square , in the dwelling-house of Charles Crosby , one 50l., three 10l., and four 5l. Bank notes, the property of Marian Mason , against the statute ; and the said JAMES CHARLES GUNYON was indicted for feloniously receiving the said notes, well knowing them to have been stolen, against the statute .

MARIAN MASON . I am single , and teach the gymnastic exercise to ladies . I lodge in the house of Mr. Charles Crosby , at No. 3, George-street, St. George, Hanover-square. I pay my rent to Mrs. Crosby, his wife, who lives in the house. On Sunday, the 12th of August, I went out about half-past two o’clock in the afternoon, and left a pocket-book, containing 500l. in Bank notes, in my bed-room drawers - they consisted of twenties, tens, fives, and there was one of 50l.; I had seen both the pocket-book and the notes at nine o’clock in the morning - I left Margaret Peel , my servant, in the house, when I went out; I had given her leave to go out - I left my drawer locked; I found Peel at home on my return. I went to bed about half-past ten o’clock, without going to my drawer - I was disturbed at one o’clock in the night, by a ringing at thehouse-door bell - I got out of bed, looked over the stairs, and asked who was there - I saw nobody, but the female prisoner answered me, and said it was her husband, who had come to fetch the key of her house - she was in the room she slept in - she did not live in the house, but was engaged by Mrs. Crosby, as a charwoman, and had liberty to sleep in the house if she chose. I do not know how far off she lived - I did not miss my property till the Saturday after, about half-past two o’clock, when I was going to take it to Messrs. Drummonds’, the bankers; I had placed the notes, 100l. in each parcel - I found the drawer locked; I took the notes out to count them, and missed 100l., the 50l. note was among it - the notes were confused, not as I had left them - I am not certain how many parcels I found; I did not know the date of the 50l. note till after I lost it - I have not found it. I have seen one note since, but cannot say it is mine, not having the dates or numbers.

EMMA MARGARETTA PEEL . I am the prosecutrix’s servant. On Sunday, the 12th of August, she went out about half-past three o’clock - I went out at five, leaving the female prisoner in the house, and nobody else. I returned at seven, and found her still there; I had been to mistreas’ bed-room in the morning - the door was quite open about twelve o’clock. I did not see her door after she went out - I went to bed at twelve o’clock that night; before I went to bed the prisoner told me her husband was to return from Battersea-house; I did not see her husband till the morning - he breakfasted there, and went away about nine o’clock. I saw him give her 1s. before breakfast - he said that was all he had got at Battersea-house the day before.

Cross-examined by MR. PHILLIPS. Q. Are there many lodgers in the house? A. My mistress is the only lodger there - she holds her school there; many persons attend the school - there was a servant in the house at the time; I did not hear the bell ring in the night.

MISS MASON re-examined. I have never seen Mr. Crosby in the house - he has not been there since I have been there; which will be twelve months in October - his wife lives in the house; I do not know where he lives - I believe he is a house-agent. I saw him before I went to lodge there, for he made the agreement with me.

MARY SIDWELL . I am a laundress, and live at Hampstead with my husband. I have known the female prisoner from an infant, and her husband, since they have been married, which is eleven years or more. On the 14th of August, about four o’clock in the afternoon, they both came to me and continued about an hour - they both asked if I had been into the country - I said No, but I was going down on the Saturday following, if nothing happened - that I was going to St. Albans; they both said they should very much like to go down with me, for they had not been down in the country for nine years before (the woman was born at St. Albans). I asked Mr. Gunyon if he had had a death in his family - he said No; that a friend had sent him some money - I asked that question because I knew they were very poor before, and I thought it not in their power to go into the country - they left; he said they would come up again on the Wednesday, which they did, between two and three o’clock; they both sat down, and Mr. Gunyon pulled out this purse with money in it, and said there were forty sovereigns in it - his wife asked him to give it to her, which he refused - she then said he had better leave it in my care, and he gave the purse into my hand; his wife took it and opened it, she put in a 10l. note, and said that made 50l.; she gave me the purse; I locked it up in a drawer - they stopped till the evening. I saw no more of them till Saturday morning, when they came to me again and had breakfast; Mrs. Gunyon took five sovereigns from the purse; we put it back into the same place again, under lock and key - we left Hampstead that morning and went to St. Albans, remained there until Monday morning at eight o’clock, and returned to Hampstead - they staid with me till evening, and then went home; they did not take the money with them. I told them I was coming to town on Tuesday morning on business; they said they would meet me at the Blue Posts, public-house, Tottenham-court-road. I waited there an hour for them; they did not come, and I went to their lodging in Monmouth-street, and found only a strange woman and their eldest child there; they were in custody, I understood.

Q. Was anything said about the money when they left you on Monday? A. Not a word; I was not to bring it to town, and did not - they had said they were going to take a little shop, and should like me to go with them; we were all at my mother’s, at St. Albans, part of the time - the male prisoner is a waiter, or something at hotels. I did not know of the woman being employed at Crosby’s.

Cross-examined. Q. Had the prisoners a lodging of their own? A. Yes; they deposited the money with me of their own accord. I never heard any thing against either of them before.

HENRY GODDARD . I am a Marlborough-street officer. On the 18th of August I first heard of this robbery: I made inquiry; and, in consequence of suspicion, I and Ballard took the prisoners into custody, at No. 68, Monmouth-street, on the Monday night, between ten and eleven, or rather later; we had been there at eight o’clock, but they were from home; we told them we took them on suspicion of stealing Bank notes from Miss Mason; they said we were welcome to search, for they knew nothing of them - we searched, and found no notes, but some new bed linen and wearing apparel; we asked how they became possessed of it - the woman said she had a 5l. note sent her from a Mrs. Pears, her sister, at Clapham, and had purchased them with that; we took them to the watch-house, and next day (21st) they were examined and remanded till the following Tuesday - we went to Mrs. Pears, at Clapham. I had information and went to Mrs. Sidwell, on the Tuesday afternoon, at Hampstead, with Ballard. Mrs. Sidwell gave Ballard thirty-five sovereigns and a 10l. note; on the following day we saw the male prisoner; and told him we had get 45l. from Mrs. Sidwell, and that he need not answer any questions unless he thought proper; that he might use his own discretion - I neither threatened or promised him anything; he then said he had received the money from his wife on the Monday morning - we then asked what he had done with the 50l. note; he said he had taken it to a Mrs. Aglen, in Wellclose-square, and sold it for forty sovereigns - we asked if the knew where any of the other notes were changed - he said he did not; after that we saw his wife, and told her not to answer any questions unless she thought proper; she then said she had taken the money - that she had changed a 10l. note in Monmouth-street. another 10l. note at Waterloo-house, and a 5l. note in Oxford-street,that all she had taken was 85l. and that she thought at the time that the 50l. note was a five.

Cross-examined. Q. Did you tell them that whatever answers they gave, you must give in evidence? A. No; their apartments appeared in a most distressing state.

WILLIAM BALLARD . I am an officer, and assisted Goddard in taking the prisoners: we told them the woman was suspected of having stolen 100l. from Miss Mason, of George-street; she said she knew nothing about it; I said it was my duty to search; she said she was surprised Miss Mason should suspect her, and we were welcome to search - they were in bed at the time; I told them to remain in bed while we searched - we found a new bolster, new blankets, a mattress, and in the female prisoner’s pocket were two sovereigns and some silver; their clothes appeared to be new; I asked how she came by the new things; she said she bought them with a 5l. note, which her sister, of Clapham, had given her - we took them to the watch-house. I went to Hampstead, and received thirty-five sovereigns and a 10l. note from Sidwell; we then went to the prisoners, and saw the man first - we held out neither threat nor promise to him. I told him we were come to ask him questions, and he was to do as he pleased about answering them; I thought it my duty to tell him first that I had thirty-five sovereigns, a 10l. note, a silk dress, and a lace cap and collar, from Sidwell; I did not say I must state what he said. I then said, “What have you done with the 50l. note?” he said, “I have sold it.” - “For what?” said I; he said for forty sovereigns - I asked to whom; he said Mrs. Aglen, who lived at a butcher’s shop in Wellclose-square, and he must leave his wife to tell where the rest was changed; he said, “You say I took the notes, but I did not;” I said, “I cannot say you took them - when did you first have them?” he said in the morning - I asked at what time he got to Miss Mason’s house; he said between twelve and one o’clock - that he had been at Battersea, and got home late. I then went to his wife and said she must do as she pleased about answering my questions, that we had got the things from Sidwell, and her husband had said he had changed the 50l. note, and left it to her to say what she had done with the others, but she must do as she pleased: she then said she had changed a 10l. note at Waterloo-house, where she bought a silk dress and collar, a 10l. note in Monmouth-street, and a 5l. note in Oxford-street, where she bought the bolster, blankets, and mattress: I said, “What have you done with the others?” she said there was no more; I said there was 100l.; she said No, there was only 85l., and she thought the 50l. note was a 5l., and she gave it to her husband on the following morning.

Cross-examined. Q. They were in custody when you examined them? A. Yes; I did it of my own accord.

COURT. Q. Were you present when they were examined before Sir George Farrant? A. Yes: I saw their examinations taken, heard it read over to them, and saw them sign them; Sir George said, “What have you to say for yourselves? you need not say anything unless you like” they said it was true, and they were very sorry. Sir George asked if they objected to sign it if it was taken down; they said the case was bad enough, and they hoped he would have mercy on them - it was taken down, and I saw them both sign this paper, (looking at it) and here is Sir George Farrant’s signature to it.

Cross-examined. Q. Had you given evidence of the confession they made to you before they signed this? A. I had. (Read.)

Charles Gunyon says “he admits receiving the 50l. Bank note, and a 10l. Bank note, from his wife, last Monday fortnight, and sold the 50l. note to a woman in Wellclose-square, for forty sovereigns.” J.C. GUNYON.

Sophia Gunyon voluntarily says “Last Sunday fortnight she went up to Miss Mason’s bed-room in the evening, and found on the floor a roll of papers, which she picked up, and then discovered that they were Bank notes; she put them into her pocket, and next day gave her husband the 50l. note.

SOPHIA GUNYON , X her mark.

MR. PHILLIPS to MISS MASON. Q. How do you know Crosby’s name is Charles? A. I have heard him spoken of as such; my receipts have been always signed by his wife, in his name, as Charles.


J.C. GUNYON - GUILTY. Aged 37.

Transported for Fourteen Years .

Both recommended to mercy by the prosecutrix, believing them to be in great distress, and having five children .

Conduct Record: Transported for stealing in a dwelling house, 5 children on the ship (Mary Ann 11, George 9, Charlotte 7, James 4, Emma 2), Conditional Pardon 1348 14 July 1837

Convict Changes History

Iris Dunne on 25th November, 2018 made the following changes:

source: Australian Joint Copying Project. Microfilm Roll 89, Class and Piece Number HO11/6, Page Number 312. Old Bailey - online. Tasmainian Archives, Conduct Record (CON40-1-3, Image 247) (prev. Australian Joint Copying Project. Microfilm Roll 89, Class

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