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William Heron

William Heron, one of 330 convicts transported on the Lady Raffles, 30 November 1840

Name, Aliases & Gender

Name: William Heron
Aliases: none
Gender: m

Birth, Occupation & Death

Date of Birth: 1803
Occupation: Seaman
Date of Death: -
Age: -

Life Span

Life span

Male median life span was 60 years*

* Median life span based on contributions

Conviction & Transportation

Sentence Severity

Sentence Severity

Sentenced to Life

Crime: Returning from transportation
Convicted at: Chester Assizes
Sentence term: Life
Ship: Lady Raffles
Departure date: 30th November, 1840
Arrival date: 17th March, 1841
Place of arrival Van Diemen's Land
Passenger manifest Travelled with 330 other convicts


Primary source: Australian Joint Copying Project. Microfilm Roll 91, Class and Piece Number HO11/12, Page Number 248. Tasmanian Archives - convicts.
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

Nell Murphy on 4th August, 2016 wrote:

William HERON was convicted at Chester on 1 April 1840 for returning from Transportation (per the ‘Aurora’). Life sentence.
Gaol Report: convicted before. Character & connections - bad. Originally sentenced for housebreaking, life sentence, transported.
Stated “I left Sydney, I stowed away. I was a servant. I had only been 6 weeks. First on the Mary to the East Indies. I was captured at Calcutta. Sent back to Sydney on the ‘John Bull’.
I was bound for England, the second time, but got off at Pernambuka and went to America. I was employed as a deckhand. I then returned to Liverpool where I was recognised by a seaman from the ‘Aurora’ who wanted 20 pounds.

Native Place: Gloucestershire
Father: John
Brother: John
Sister: Honora

Van Diemen’s Land:
19 May 1841: New Town (nr Hobart) Station - disobedience of orders. 8 days solitary.
14 Aug 1841: 2yrs hard labour, in chains.

Nell Murphy on 4th August, 2016 wrote:

See record for William Heron per ‘Aurora’ http://www.convictrecords.com.au/convicts/heron/william/35033.  The same person.

D Wong on 5th August, 2016 wrote:

William Heron first arrived in the ‘Mary’ which arrived in January 1822.  Transported for ‘Burglary’  He escaped after 6 weeks.

Then 1833 finally made his way back to England - was then transported for ‘Returning from Transportation’ and arrived per “Aurora 1833”.
Sent to Port Macquarie, NSW - stayed three for 2 years and again escaped.

September 1840 - was back in England - transported for life again and arrived in VDL per Lady Raffles 1841.

On arrival in VDL he was 37 years old, 5’4” tall, ruddy complexion, dark brown hair, reddish whiskers, grey eyes, scar on right wrist, scar under left knee and on left cheek, can read and write.

9/8/1841: Browns River Robbing in a dwelling house - Hard labour in chains for 2 years - recommended to be sent to Port Arthur.

Absconded twice - various penalties.

27/8/1848: Absconded - found on board and American ship.

29/5/1850: Absconded.

23/3/1852: TOL
12/6/1855: Conditional Pardon - he is now about 51 years old.

A few William Heron’s around at this time - found nothing further that looked to be this man.

26/10/1840 Launceston Courier:
Curious Adventures. — At Chester Assizes on Wednesday, William Heron, 36, sailor, was indicted for returning from transportation. He had been capitally convicted of burglary at Horsham spring assizes, 1821, which sentence was commuted to transportation for life.
The following curious statement was read : — ?’ My name is William Heron. I am a native of Clifton, near Bristol. Was convicted at the spring assizes of 1821, at Horsham, Sussex, for a burglary committed at Brighton only four days before the trial took place. Was sentenced to death.
Prior to this 1 had never been before a magistrate or in a prison. Was sent to the York hulk, at Gosport, thence to New South Wales (Sydney).
Escaped in six weeks and went to India, from India to England, and thence to America. - Was in the American merchant service for some time, afterwards in his majesty’s service in the West Indies, then in the English merchant service; subsequently in the naval service of Mexico. Remained thus employed for eleven years, when in 1833 returned to England; was apprehended in February, 1833, at Portsmouth, and was again sent to Sydney, thence to Port Macquarrie; remained there nearly two years, and escaped; :-

Left the ship in which I escaped in the Brazils, and went to America; entered the naval service of the United States, was employed for 12 months in one of the dock-yards in the master’s office, writing and drafting.  In 1839, commanded a trading vessel between New Orleans and Mobile. Re
turned to England the 11th of last month.

Have been mostly employed at sea during the intervals of my escapes and apprehensions. Lived by industrious exertions during these periods. Was determined, at all risks, to gain intelligence of my relatives, if any are yet living; knew it to be impossible,- without taking this public method. Nineteen years (going in the 20th) have elapsed since l heard any tidings of them.

My intention was to surrender myself in some country place ; walked on until I became destitute, when 1 did so at Sandbach.- I shall try for a commutation of the sentence of life registered against me, as 1 have suffered the punishment of banishment for nearly 20 years, for
the crime or error of a boy of 16. Failing in this, I shall endeavour to get a conditional pardon to return free, to New South Wales, if required.

My sentence has been very severe, and I consider that the appeal I can make against it should be made in a court of justice.
Sentence— Six months imprisonment and kept to hard labour, and transportation for life.

Convict Changes History

Nell Murphy on 4th August, 2016 made the following changes:

source: Australian Joint Copying Project. Microfilm Roll 91, Class and Piece Number HO11/12, Page Number 248. Tasmanian Archives - convicts. (prev. Australian Joint Copying Project. Microfilm Roll 91, Class and Piece Number HO11/12, Page Number 248), date

D Wong on 5th August, 2016 made the following changes:


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