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William Harding

William Harding, one of 100 convicts transported on the Chapman, 12 April 1826

Name, Aliases & Gender

Name: William Harding
Aliases: none
Gender: m

Birth, Occupation & Death

Date of Birth: 1803
Occupation: -
Date of Death: 13th July, 1873
Age: 70 years

Life Span

Life span

Male median life span was 53 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: Chapman
Departure date: 12th April, 1826
Arrival date: 7th October, 1826
Place of arrival Van Diemen's Land
Passenger manifest Travelled with 99 other convicts


Primary source: Australian Joint Copying Project. Microfilm Roll 88, Class and Piece Number HO11/6, Page Number 2
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

Maureen Withey on 3rd July, 2021 wrote:

Old Bailey Proceedings Online (http://www.oldbaileyonline.org, version 8.0, 03 July 2021), June 1825, trial of WILLIAM HARDING (t18250630-123).
WILLIAM HARDING, Theft > theft from a specified place, 30th June 1825.

Before Mr. Justice Burrough.

1172. WILLIAM HARDING was indicted for stealing, on the 21st of May , at Wilsden, twelve forks, value 5 l.; twenty-four spoons, value 5 l.; three ladles, value 6 l.; two skewers, value 1 l.; two pairs of sugar tongs, value 30 s.; a cheese knife, value 1 l., and a child’s boat, value 15 s., the goods of William Hanbury Jones , Esq. , in his dwelling-house .

MR. ADOLPHUS conducted the prosecution.

ISAAC LAYT . I am servant to William Hanbury Jones, Esq. who lives at Wilsden house, in the parish of Wilsden . On the 21st of May, at ten o’clock in the morning, I washed the plate, and set it in the window of a small front room to dry; soon afterwards Miss Whitaker spoke to me - I saw the door open, and that the plate was gone; twenty-four spoons, twelve forks, three ladles, two skewers, two pair of sugar tongs, a cheese knife, and a child’s boat, were gone, with the tray in which I had put them. I ran out to the gate as fast as I could, and saw two men driving away in a one-horse cart, very fast; it was about twenty rods from the gate; I ran to Mr. Phips, a farmer, close by, and borrowed a horse, pursued the cart, but did not see it again till I got on the Edgware road, a mile and a half off; Itraced it by the marks of the wheels, and as soon as I got into the Edgware road I saw it, and am sure it was the same cart; I hallooed Stop thief! there were a great many people about - they went a good deal faster when I called out, and turned into a lane, which goes up to Oxden farm; both the men then jumped out of the cart and creeped through the hedge: I took the horse and cart, with the horse I was on, to Mr. Lardner’s (I was within ten rods of the men); Lardner came out with his servant Jones; Jones and I ran down the lane, and were directed after them; Jones pursued; I found sixteen pieces of the plate in the cart, and the rest scattered about the gate, and some a little way from the house.

Cross-examined. Q. Where did the plate lay? A. By the window, which was a little way open. I am sure it was the same cart - it was a dirty blue colour; I rode a mile and a half before I saw them again; they went on a quarter of a mile and turned up the lane, and jumped out; I might have been ten minutes gone to Mr. Lardner’s.

ROBERT JONES . I am servant to Mr. Lardner, who lives in Wilsden parish. In consequence of what Layt said to me, I went in pursuit down the lane; he shewed me which way they had gone through the hedge, about one hundred yards from the Edgware road; people who stood in the road, directed me across the fields; I saw one man returning across the other side of the fields as fast as he could; I followed, and kept him in sight about a mile, and then lost sight of him for about two minutes, and caught sight of him again; he was the same person, and dressed the same; I am quite certain it was the same; he got into another field: I followed him nearly a mile further, and got nearly close to him; he was then stopping on a hedge, and appeared to be pulling off his shoes and stockings; he looked round, and saw me coming, and started off with his stocking half-way down and one shoe off; I ran about ten rods, and secured him; he was very hot, and just as I got to him, he tumbled down on the hedge, and was very much out of breath; I told him he was charged with stealing plate, and must go with me; he said he was innocent; I asked what made him run away; he made no answer: I asked if he had pulled off his stockings to disguise himself; he said nothing to that, and I gave him in charge.

Cross-examined. Q. When Layt came to you did he leave the cart at your master’s house? A. Yes; the lane is about two hundred yards from our house; we both ran down the lane, leaving the cart there; the two fields together are nearly half a mile large: I dare say they are fourteen acres each; he ran nearly half a mile.

JOHN TWYFORD . I was minding some cows in Dolly’s-hill-lane, about a mile and a half from Mr. Jones’s, when a cart came by - two men were in it; I cannot swear to the prisoner; one of them said to me

“If you see any body behind tell them we are gone down that way;” they gave me a penny, and went a different way to what they said.

Cross-examined. Q. Did they point with their hands? A. Yes, in a different direction to what they went.

JOHN GOODGINS . I was in the Edgware road on the 21st of May, and saw two men in a cart, in Oxgate-lane, and am positive the prisoner is one of them. Layt came up riding as hard as he could, and hallooing Stop thief! the men went as hard as they could dride, and jumped out of the cart when they got down the lane; the prisoner went over the meadow; I followed him a little way, and saw Jones in pursuit: I saw the prisoner in custody, and am sure of his person.

Cross-examined. Q. Edgware road is a great thorough-fare? A. Yes; this was a sort of green cart; it passed very near me; I noticed it because it went so hard: the men’s faces were towards me when I turned round and looked at them; I am certain of him; he had a short black velveteen jacket on - it was an open cart.

FREDERICK DEBENHAM . I am constable of Kilburn. I received the prisoner in charge; I was getting into the cart and asked him if the horse would kick, he said he did not know, he had never seen it: I drove him to town in it, and between Paddington and Kilburn the horse was going at a very rapid rate - I could not pull him in; he said

“If you give the reins a chuck he will stop immediately;” which it did. I found sixteen pieces of plate at Mr. Lardner’s, and a sack.

Cross-examined. Q. You asked him how to stop the horse? A. No, he told me.

(Property produced and sworn to.)

Prisoner’s Defence. I was down that way selling bonnet boxes; I had sold them all, and had 6 s. when I was taken; I went over the field to ease myself, and seeing this man coming after me, I ran off, fearing he would take me for a trespass.

Two witnesses gave the prisoner a good character.

GUILTY - DEATH. Aged 22.


National Archives. Criminal Petition.
HO 17/15/141   1825 Aug
Prisoner name: William Harding.
Court and date of trial: [Old Bailey] 1825.
Crime: Felony.
Initial sentence: Death.
Annotated (Outcome): Considered at Report in Council 2 August 1825.
Petitioner(s): 66 inhabitants of London.
Grounds for clemency (Petition Details): Asks for clemency.
Additional Information: Held in Newgate.

Tasmanian Records.
Convict Conduct Record.

Q.S. 26 June 35. 12 months imprisonment & hard labor.
Q.S. 28 June 1838. Acquitted.
Conditional Pardon, No 584.
Free Pardon, No 428, 3d June 1839.
Inquest held on a body at Hobart town, 15 Jul ‘73.
Verdict, died from natural causes.


Thomas Preston. William Harding and John Gadsdon, were charged with stealing a pair of trowsers, from the premises of Mrs. Murphy of the St. Patrick, Barrack-street, the property of her brother Mr. John M’Gowan. The prisoners it appeared, came into the St. Patrick, and called for something to drink on Monday afternoon and observing the trowsers on a paling outside and the “‘coast clear” made a set and got off with their booty. Mr. M’Gowan next morning acquainted constable Butler (who was then on duly) with his loss, and owing to his tact and exertion, he had the three prisoners in custody in the course of the day.  They were fully Committed for trial.
Morning Star ( Hobart Town) 19 June 1835.

Quarter Sessions.  Tuesday, June 26.
William Hardinge and John Preston, were charged with stealing wearing apparel.-Verdict, Guilty against both prisoners.
Monday, June 29.
The following prisoners were brought up and sentenced -
William Harding-hard labour for 12 months.
John Preston-hard labour for 6 months.
Colonial Times, 30 Jun 1835.


Hobart Town Police Report.
Wednesday, June 27.
William Harding was fully committed for stealing a shawl of Thomas Wells.
Colonial Times, 3 July 1838.


Inquest.- An inquest was held on Tuesday, at the Royal Exchange Hotel, before Mr. Tarleton and a jury of seven, on the body of William Harding, who died suddenly on Sunday evening at the residence of Mr. Bain, on the wharf. After the evidence had been taken, a verdict was returned of death from congestive apoplexy.
The Mercury, Thurs 17 July 1873.

An old man named William Harding, 70 years of age, died suddenly about 7 o’clock on Sunday evening at the residence of Mr Bain, sailmaker, on the wharf.  He was in apparently good health that morning, but died very suddenly in the evening. Deceased had been a very heavy drinker for many years, and there is no doubt that his inordinate use of intoxicating liquors was the principal cause of death. He had been in the colony upwards of forty years.
The Tasmanian, 19 July 1873.

Convict Changes History

Maureen Withey on 3rd July, 2021 made the following changes:

date of birth: 1803 (prev. 0000), date of death: 13th July, 1873 (prev. 0000), gender: m, crime

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