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William Henshall, one of 306 convicts transported on the Fortune and Alexander, January 1806
Name, Aliases & Gender
Birth, Occupation & Death
|Date of Birth:
|Date of Death:
life span was 54 years*
* Median life span based on contributions
Conviction & Transportation
Sentenced to 7 years
||Australian Joint Copying Project. Microfilm Roll 87, Class and Piece Number HO11/1, Page Number 380. State Archives, Certificate of Freedom
||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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Lori P on 28th February, 2018 wrote:
William Henshall and the holey dollar (source: http://www.nma.gov.au/collections/highlights/holey_dollar)
Convicted forger William Henshall was chosen to cut and counterstamp these coins. Henshall worked as a metal plater and cutler in England. On an 1811 New South Wales muster list he was listed simply as a ‘convict’, without reference to his trade. It is believed Macquarie probably learnt about Henshall’s metal-working skills by reputation.
In researching the history of Henshall and the holey dollars, numismatic experts Peter Lane and Peter Fleig found that Henshall arrived in the colony of New South Wales after being sentenced in 1805 to seven years transportation for his involvement in counterfeiting. He provided authorities with information about other forgers and ways of combatting the crime in exchange for an assurance his wife and family would accompany him to New South Wales. Henshall arrived in the colony and was granted an absolute pardon on 12 September 1812, six months before his sentence was due to end.
Macquarie provided Henshall with a workshop in the basement of a building known as ‘The Factory’ to make the holey dollars and dumps. This building, used by government printer George Howe, was near the corner of Bridge and Loftus streets, by the eastern bank of the Tank Stream. It was effectively Australia’s first mint, with Henshall Australia’s first mint master.
Macquarie initially anticipated that the task of converting the 40,000 Spanish coins would take three months, but the project took over a year to complete. Henshall had to experiment with making the necessary machinery, which proved difficult. It seems that a drop hammer, as opposed to a screw press, was used to stamp the coins. Henshall stamped the coins with their new value and ‘NEW SOUTH WALES 1813’. He incorporated his ‘H’ initial into the spray of leaves of the counterstamp design and also inscribed his initial between the words ‘FIFTEEN’ and ‘PENCE’ on the dump reverse dies.
The first batch of new coins was delivered to Deputy Commissioner-General David Allen on 25 February 1814. The final batch was delivered in August of the same year.
Henshall left the colony for England in 1817. It is not known what became of him.
Iris Dunne on 28th February, 2018 wrote:
Tried 28 March 1805
Vol. 15 - Journal of the Numismatic Association of Australia Inc.
http://www.numismatics.org.au/pdfjournal/Vol15/Vol 15 Article 1.pdf
Convict Changes History
Lori P on 28th February, 2018 made the following changes:
gender: m, occupation, crime
Iris Dunne on 28th February, 2018 made the following changes:
source: Australian Joint Copying Project. Microfilm Roll 87, Class and Piece Number HO11/1, Page Number 380. State Archives, Certificate of Freedom (prev. Australian Joint Copying Project. Microfilm Roll 87, Class and Piece Number HO11/1, Page Number 380)