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Elizabeth Harris

** community contributed record **

Name, Aliases & Gender

Name: Elizabeth Harris
Aliases: none
Gender: f

Birth, Occupation & Death

Date of Birth: -
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
Sentence term: Life
Ship: America
Departure date: 30th December, 1830
Arrival date: 9th May, 1831
Place of arrival Van Diemen's Land
Passenger manifest Travelled with 181 other convicts


Primary source: Tasmanian Conduct Record, Old Bailey online. Tasmanian Records.
Source description:

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Community Contributions

Maureen Withey on 16th April, 2020 wrote:

Old Bailey Proceedings Online (http://www.oldbaileyonline.org, version 8.0, 16 April 2020), October 1830, trial of ELIZABETH HARRIS MARY MITCHELL ANN DAVIES (t18301028-10).
ELIZABETH HARRIS, MARY MITCHELL, ANN DAVIES, Theft > theft from a specified place, 28th October 1830.

Second Middlesex Jury, before Mr. Baron Garrow.

1850. ELIZABETH HARRIS , MARY MITCHELL , and ANN DAVIES were indicted for stealing, on the 18th of October , at St. Luke, Chelsea, 40 yards of silk, value 6l., the goods of John Peters and Thomas Underwood , in their dwelling-house .

MESSRS. ADOLPHUS and BODKIN conducted the prosecution.

JOHN PETERS . I am in partnership with Thomas Underwood - we are linen-drapers and silk-mercers , and live in Sloane-square, Chelsea ; the shop is our joint property, and part of our dwelling-house. I saw the prisoners Mitchell and Davies in our shop on Monday, the 18th of October. I had not seen this silk myself - I know Scofield by sight.

ALEXANDER MCLOWMAN . I am in the prosecutors’ employ. On the 18th of October, about half-past two o’clock in the afternoon, I was in the shop, and took notice of a piece of silk which was laying on the counter - I have since seen some silk in the possession of the pawnbrokers; it is of the same description as that I saw that day; it was on a roller in our shop, and I should think there was about forty yards - it was part of a piece.

Cross-examined by MR. CLARKSON. Q. Do you know what protion of the silk had been sold? A. No, but being in the habit of cutting silks, I can form a pretty good idea how much is in a roll - it was not a whole piece, but it was in one length - I did not see any of it sold that day; I saw none cut while I was in the shop - I was not absent an hour that day; there was none sold from the time I saw it till it was missed, which was about half-past six, when inquiry was made for it - we have about twelve or fourteen shopmen altogether; it is not my department to keep the silks in order; I did not see it after half-past two - I can say none of it was sold between that and three, because I was passing through the shop every two or three minutes, and if any of the shopmen sold it I must have seen it, because I always notice what others are selling - we are stimulated to sell goods and watch each other, and I swear it was not sold after I saw it.

MR. BODKIN. Q. Where did you see it at half-past two? A. About a yard and a half from the desk - persons coming in as customers could see it.

COURT. Q. At times you are not all present in the shop? A. Except at meal times; we occasionally notice what passes between customers and other shopmen - I should think there was full forty yards on the roller; I have seen Harris and Mitchell in the shop together once before- that was in the middle of the summer. I recollect their being very difficult to serve, which drew my attention to them.

ROBERT WATKINSON . I serve in the prosecutors’ shop. On the 18th of October I remember three women coming in as customers - I can swear to Davies being one of them; I know the other two by sight, but cannot say whether they were there that day - Davies came in with two women; I cannot say what they asked for at first - it was between three and four o’clock; I recollect selling them some merino and a habit-shirt - only one dealt for it; the others were not with her all the time - they were in different parts of the shop; I dealt with the woman on the drapery counter, and observed them part of the time at the haberdasbery and the hosiery counter; I do not think they asked for things - they did not buy; I had not seen the silk on the counter - it would not be in my part of the shop; inquiry was made about the silk about six or seven o’clock - neither of them bought any silk.

Cross-examined. Q. It was between three and four o’clock when Davies, accompanied by two women, came to the shop? A. I think it was about that time - it was four before they left; from twelve to four is our busiest time - there were a good many customers; I cannot say whether any of the silk was sold that day - it had been inquired for by some lady in the course of the day; whether she bought any I cannot say - we have not distinct counters for goods, we sell any where; Davies purchased what she asked for - I do not recollect selling to the other women.

MR. ADOLPHUS. Q. Did you observe either of the other women near the desk? A. They were there - silk runs various lengths: I had not seen a lady inquiring for the silk, but by its being on the counter I suppose so.

JOSEPH WILLIS . I am a shopman to the prosecutors. I went to dinner, returned about a quarter past three o’clock, and observed Mitchell and Davies in the shop - there was another person, whom I cannot identify; I believe it was a woman - I knew Davies and Mitchell, by having served them before; I saw them standing near the desk - Mitchell and Davies stood together, and I believe had shawls on; I saw the piece of silk laying on the counter, about a yard and a half from where they stood, and had also seen it about half an hour before I went to dinner - Mitchell merely said, “How do you do?” to me- I left them standing in the same place, and went to my business; the silk was missed between five and six o’clock that evening; it was on the counter while they were there.

Cross-examined. Q. Were there a good many customers in the shop at that time? A. Not a great many - we had been pretty well off for customers that day; I will not swear there had not been a dozen in the shop at a time - the customers were in different parts of the shop; the desk is about the middle of the shop.

Q. Is that where customers would most likely be? A. No, it depends on what they are buying, or where they sit; muslins are kept nearest to the desk - silks are at the bottom of the shop, and at the top also; the merinos are next to the muslins.

COURT. Q. When an article is shown, and you want another, it is put aside? A. Yes; that causes articles to be near the desk sometimes; the customers that day were persons of apparent respectability - I had no reason to suspect any of them.

WILLIAM HENRY WESTCOMB . I am in the prosecutors’ employ. On the 18th of October I remember all the three prisoners coming into the shop, about twenty minutes or a quarter to four o’clock; they went away between four and five - I had seen the roll of silk on the counter previous to their coming in: while they were there I walked up the middle of the shop, and on returning I heard one of them say, “It will be no good to stand here;” I immediately went up, and inquired if there was nobody attending to them: Mitchell replied, “Oh, Yes, there is, I thank you;” I said if there was not I would do so - I was employed in serving other customers, but took notice of them; I do not recollect seeing Harris and Mitchell leave the shop, but they left before Davies - she was the last; they were in the shop nearly an hour, and left between four and five o’clock- the roll of silk was missed in an hour and a half or two hours after, between six and seven o’clock; I perfectly well recollect seeing the three prisoners at the spot where I saw the silk - a lady came in. and placed a chair at the spot where the prisoners had been waiting, and I cleared the goods away from there to serve her, and perfectly recollect that the silk was not among the goods I moved away - this was a quarter of an hour after they had left.

Cross-examined. Q. When was you first examined about this? A. Yesterday - I heard of the silk being lost the evening it happened; I was not required to attend before the Magistrate - I am quite positive it was not before three o’clock that the prisoners came in; the usual time for dinner is about one or a quarter-past - it depends on our being engaged with customers; I cannot say at what time Willis dined - I saw the prisoners come in, and think it was a quarter to four o’clock; I am positive they were not there as early as a quarter-past three - I did not see them at that time; I am speaking as far as my recollection goes - there was not so much doing between four and six as before; we were busy - I can venture to swear this silk was not sold at all; I cannot say none were sold, but this was not - I saw it on the counter last about twelve or one o’clock; I cannot tell what became of it after I had been to dinner.

JAMES WALLIS . I am shopman to Mr. Jones, a pawnbroker, of Tothill-street, Westminster. I have a piece of silk, pawned on the 18th of October, between five and six o’clock in the evening, by the prisoner Mitchell, in the name of Mary Spinkes , No. 12, Charlotte-street, for 17s. - there are ten yards of it; inquiry was made about it next morning, and I produced it.

JOHN GRINDLEY . I am shopman to Courtney and Page, pawnbrokers, Lower Eaton-street, Pimlico. I have some silk, pawned on the 18th of October, between five and six o’clock in the evening, by a young man, in the name of William Beacon , No. 10, Ebury-square.

JOSEPH TILL . I am a pawnbroker, and live in Grosvenor-row, Pimlico. I produce a piece of silk, pawned on the 19th of October, for 16s., by Mitchell; and another piece, pawned on the 20th, by Harris, for 1l.; there are about twenty yards in the two pieces.

Cross-examined. Q. I suppose you knew them before? A. Yes, for three years, and knew their names; a boy wrote the duplicate for Harris, and put the name of Doherty on it - the other is in Mitchell’s name: I did not write Harris’ ticket, and suppose I was not aware what name the boy put - I received the article from her.

MR. ADOLPHUS. Q. Is it unusual for a person to pawn goods for another, in that person’s name? A. No.

COURT. Q. Is it not usual for persons to pledge in a strange name, to conceal that they are in want? A. Frequently.

FREDERICK KINGSTON . I am servant to Mr. Morrit, a pawnbroker, of York-street, Westminster. I produce a piece of silk, pawned on the 18th of October, between five and six o’clock in the evening, by the prisoner Harris, in the name of Ann Spinks .

Cross-examined. Q. I suppose you knew her before? A. I never saw her before. but am certain of her person -I knew her again at the office.

DANIEL DAWKINS . I am an officer. I apprehended the prisoners on Thursday night, the 21st; I had found the witness Scofield at Mr. Morrit’s, the pawnbroker’s, in York-street, and took her to Queen-square office - she there gave me a duplicate, and in consequence of what she said I went with her to No. 7. Ebury-street, and found the prisoner Mitchell, who told me she had the duplicates from Harris - Mitchell took us to Harris, and told her the officer had come about the silk; we went up stairs to a room which Harris occupied, in an empty house, and there saw Davies - Mitchell said, “Here is the officer come about those duplicates;” Davies said, “What duplicates?” she said the duplicates of the silk - Davies said, “What silk?” Mitchell said, “Don’t appear strange about it - you will throw it all on my back;” Davies then said, “You did not have it from me - you had it from Harris:” Harris said, “I did not give them to you - you took them off the shelf;” I then asked all the prisoners how the duplicates came on the shelf; they said they did not know - Mitchell said, “Why, it is the silk you told me you got on tally, and was not going to pay for it, therefore you pledged it;” Harris denied it, and said she knew nothing about it - I took them all into custody.

ELIZABETH SCOFIELD . I went to Morrit’s, the pawnbroker, with a duplicate which Mitchell brought to me, last Thursday week - she brought me three; one of Morrit’s, another of a pawnbroker’s in Tothill-street, and one of Mr. Courtney’s, at the corner of Eaton-street - I was detained at Morrit’s, and Dawkins took me into custody; I took him to the lodgings of Mitchell and Harris, and heard what passed - Mitchell said to Harris, “Here are the officers come for the silk or the duplicates,” I do not recollect which - we all went up stairs, and Mitchell said to Davies, “I am in custody on account of these duplicates;” Davies said, “What duplicates?” she said the duplicates of the silk - Davies said, “What duplicates? of what silk? I don’t know what you mean;” she said,“Don’t be strange - I mean the duplicates of the silk, the slate coloured silk;” Mitchell then said to Harris, “Well, if Ann knows nothing about it, what do you know about it?” Harris said, “I know nothing at all about it;” Mitchell said, “This is a very pretty go, bowever - you none of you know about it; if you know nothing about it how came I by these duplicates?” Harris said there were some duplicates on the mantel-piece;” Mitchell said, “Do you think I should take such things off the mantel-piece without they were given to me?” Harris said, “I said there were those duplicates, and if they were of any use to you you were welcome to them;” Mitchell then said, “I took the duplicates to Mrs. Scofield, and asked if she knew any person she worked for who was likely to buy them, as they were not things I could wear;” I am a dress-maker. The officer took them all into custody.

MR. PETERS. These lengths of silk have all constituted one piece, I have no doubt; they are exactly the samecolour and pattern as what I lost - the quantity I lost was worth at least 6l. to buy it.

Cross-examined. Q. How many yards do you swear there were? A. I will swear to there being forty yards; it is gros de Naples - I should pay 3s. a yard for it, the wholesale price - it cannot be bought for less; I find, by measuring the silk produced, there are forty-four or forty-five yards.

The prisoners made no Defence.



[Oct. 29.] DAVIES - GUILTY - DEATH . Aged 20.


Tasmanian Conduct Record: https://stors.tas.gov.au/CON40-1-5$init=CON40-1-5p85
161. Elizabeth Harris, per America 9 May 1831. Tried at Middlesex 18 Oct 1830, Life. Transported for Stealing in a dwelling house. Gaol Report : Not known here before. Married 2 children. Stated this offence – Stealing in a dwelling house. Married and two children. Husband Wm. Harris Silver Street.
Conditional Pardon No 2451 27 May 1840
Free Pardon No 64 23 May 1843.

161. Elizabeth Harris, 26, shoe binder.

—————————————————————————-Tasmanian Marriage Permissions : https://stors.tas.gov.au/CON52-1-1p020j2k
690. John Day, per Argyle, and 161. Elizabeth Harris, per America. Approved if the clergyman be satisfied as to the death of the woman’s former husband, 17 April 1837.

Convict Changes History

Maureen Withey on 16th April, 2020 made the following changes:

convicted at, term: 99 years, voyage, source: Tasmanian Conduct Record, Old Bailey online. Tasmanian Records. (prev. ), firstname: Elizabeth, surname: Harris, alias1: , alias2: , alias3: , alias4: , date of birth: 0000, date of death: 0000, gender: f, occ

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