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Richard Harris

Richard Harris, one of 320 convicts transported on the Lord Lyndoch, 07 September 1840

Name, Aliases & Gender

Name: Richard Harris
Aliases: none
Gender: m

Birth, Occupation & Death

Date of Birth: 1808
Occupation: Farm labourer
Date of Death: -
Age: -

Life Span

Life span

Male median life span was 54 years*

* Median life span based on contributions

Conviction & Transportation

Sentence Severity

Sentence Severity

Sentenced to 15 years

Crime: Highway robbery
Convicted at: Wilts. Quarter Sessions
Sentence term: 15 years
Ship: Lord Lyndoch
Departure date: 7th September, 1840
Arrival date: 5th February, 1841
Place of arrival Van Diemen's Land
Passenger manifest Travelled with 321 other convicts


Primary source: Australian Joint Copying Project. Microfilm Roll 91, Class and Piece Number HO11/12, Page Number 222 https://marketlavingtonmuseum.wordpress.com
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

greg petersen on 8th December, 2017 wrote:

In the evening of 21st October 1839, a Mr Mathew Dean of Imber was returning from Devizes Fair. When he approached the spot now marked by a Memorial Stone, he was set upon by four highwaymen. As reported in the Devizes and WiItshire Gazette : “They pulled him from his horse to the ground; two rifled his pockets, one pressing his hand over his eyes. They took from his pocket a pocket book, containing £20 in notes, and from another pocket one sovereign and a half in gold and £2 in silver. The horse galloped away during the scuffle.”
Undaunted by this event Mr Dean gave chase to the robbers on foot. Within fifty or sixty yards he met Mr Morgan of Chitterne, who immediately gave chase on horse. “He soon lost sight of one of them.” continued the report, “the other three he kept in view until two labourers came up and overtook then, but they threatened to shoot any man who came near them ”Even this did not stop the pursuit for long, Mr Morgan calling on Mr. Hooper, another local farmer, for assistance.
Over the downs raced the highwaymen followed by the two farmers; when suddenly the stoutest of the felons fell flat on his back. The chase continued and the hunters were joined by another ally,” Mr Sainsbury from West Lavington, The quarry was soon cornered and ordered to surrender. The men were armed with large fold sticks and threatened Mr. Sainsbury if he touched them; upon which Mr Sainsbury, holding up the large end of his hunting whip, said, ‘if this is not enough for you, I have a brace of bulldogs (pistols) in my pocket, and if you make the Least resistance I will shoot you dead on the spot’”. The highwaymen then rather naturally decided that discretion was really the better part of valour and conceded defeat.
The bizarre circumstances of the chase were, however, by no means over. After the three hour chase, which had lasted, according to Mr. Morgan, for sixteen miles, Mr. Dean’s pocket book and notes were found on the down.
Next morning a more sensational discovery was also made near the same place – the dead body of the man who had fallen during the pursuit. At an inquest, presided over by Coroner Whitmarsh, the dead man, Benjamin Colclough, was found guilty of felo-de-se. Mr. Whitmarsh explained to the jury that this crime was “one who deliberately put an end to his own existence, or who commits any unlawful act, the consequence of which is his death.” The jury accepted the verdict of Mr Hitchcock, the surgeon, that “the death was occasioned by the rupture of a large vessel on the brain, produced by over-excitement in the running from the hands of justice”. The foreman summed up their verdict, “Why, we finds as he busted himself.” The wretched Colclough, the’ “Coroner decreed, was to be •buried without any church service outside the Chitterne burial ground. (Local legend has it that CoIclough was hit by a ‘vossil’ thrown by a shepherd – a “vossil” is a nut stick which supports: the hurdles of a sheep pen). At the end of the inquest, Colclough’ s wife arrived from Fisherton to explain that her husband had left home on the Monday and had not been seen since. The next day further incriminating evidence was found near the robbery – twenty stolen keys, two instruments for picking pockets, a box of Lucifer matches and a candle. About three quarters of a mile further on, a crowbar and a pocket handkerchief with a heavy stone tied to it were also found. Mr. Dean was fortunate enough to also recover thirty-nine shillings and a small key.
Justice in those days was harsh and brutal. At Devizes Sessions on December 31st 1831, the three other villains, Richard Harris, George Waters and Thomas Saunders were sentenced by Mr, Ludlow-Bruge to fifteen years transportation to Australia. The Devizes and Wiltshire Gazette for that week reports that after sentence was passed, Saunders “was very violent and swore that ‘if he had a knife he would have run’d it through Mr. Dean”‘• Later they all agreed that they had received a fair trial. “They said that they had a good deal of trouble with the man who fell dead on the down; they assisted him as far as they could and when their pursuers were pressing close upon them and they were about to leave him to his fate, ‘he exclaimed, ‘Don’t leave me, for God’s sake don’t leave Me. ‘” Mr Morgan was later rewarded by a public subscription and a grateful Mr Dean gave Mr. Hooper a snuff-box,
Two monument s were erected, one at the scene of the robbery and the other on Chitterne Down where Colclough dropped dead. Recorded on the roadside memorial near Devizes and Tilstead:
“At this spot Mr Dean of Imber was attacked and robbed by four highwayman in the evening of October 21st, 1839. After a spirited pursuit of three hours, one of the Felons Benjamin Colclough, fell dead on Chitterne Down. Thos Saunders, George Saunders and Richard Harris were eventually captured, and were convicted at the ensuing Quarter Sessions at Devizes, and transported for a term of fifteen years. This monument is erected by public subscription as a warning to those who presumptuously think to escape the punishment God has threatened against thieves and robbers.”

The three convicts were transported to VDL aboard the Lord Lyndoch in 1841

Convict Changes History

greg petersen on 8th December, 2017 made the following changes:

source: Australian Joint Copying Project. Microfilm Roll 91, Class and Piece Number HO11/12, Page Number 222 https://marketlavingtonmuseum.wordpress.com (prev. Australian Joint Copying Project. Microfilm Roll 91, Class and Piece Number HO11/12, Page Numbe

greg petersen on 8th December, 2017 made the following changes:

date of birth: 1808 (prev. 0000)

greg petersen on 8th December, 2017 made the following changes:


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