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Ralph Hush, one of 156 convicts transported on the Neptune, 18 March 1820
Name, Aliases & Gender
Birth, Occupation & Death
|Date of Birth:
|Date of Death:
life span was 56 years*
* Median life span based on contributions
Conviction & Transportation
Sentenced to Life
||Australian Joint Copying Project. Microfilm Roll 88, Class and Piece Number HO11/3, Page Number 269 (136)
||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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David Seal on 18th January, 2015 wrote:
Ralph Hush was a convict sent from Northumberland, England to Australia in 1820.
He was also one of the first convicts ever to receive a pardon from a life sentence after less than 5 years.
Born to parents Ralph & Sarah Hush on a Londonderry farm in 1783, Ralph was the youngest of 5 children. Around the age of 5 he and his family returned to Crookham, Northumberland to live. The family owned and worked on a farm a mile from Crookham called Crookham Eastfield. He eventually secured a job as a humble farmer.
NEWCASTLE COURT: Saturday 21 August 1819
Newcastle Assizes held at Guildhall, Newcastle at 16th August 1819. Judge Sir John Bailey.
Case heard Tuesday 17th August 1819.
RALPH HUSH , alias HUSHS: Shepherd to ANTHONY COMPTON, esq of CARHAM aged 35, was charged with stealing from PRESTON NORTHUMBERLAND either on the 26th May or day preceeding, 20 ewes & 20 lambs, property of Mr Goerge ARCHBOLD.
Mr Sergeant Cross, in an elequent address to the jury, related all particulars of this most extraordinary case, he said he would not leave doubt in the minds of the jury.
Mr LOSH called GEORGE SCOTT, Archbold’s shepherd for 10 years, recollects his masters flock about end of May, it was 6 score * 12 or 13.
All were seen alright on the evening of 25th May. The following morning he missed 20 ewes & 20 lambs. He examined the fences for gaps etc and found none. Reported to Mr Archbold.
After five days, 11 animals found at DOWNHAM, with Mr Forester. One with Mr Tulips and 8 at Newick, a farm belonging to EARL GREY.
Shepherds & Farmers gave evidence as to the various ways in which & how they came into the possesion of the sheep.
The prisoner offered no defence. and called only one charactor witness. The judge asked him if he lost any sheep? He said 2 which he later saw on Mr COMPTONS land, but he did not suspect the prisoner.
His Lordship summed up at length, the jury had only a short consultation, and returned a GUILTY verdict.
Several other indictments re stealing of sheep from Mr COMPTON and others were not gone into.
It will be recollected that the prisoner had, in the course of his service, made free with his masters sheep and when Mr Compton’s sheep were to be advertised for sale, he then made free with neighbouring flocks to make up the defiencies and the stolen sheep actually sold by public auction at Mr Compton’s sale, as part of his choice breed
Raplh Huish and another man Ralph MOOK had been sentenced to Death for sheep stealing. This sentence was comuted to transportation for life to the colony of New South Wales.
Ralph was imprisoned for stealing sheep, tried and convicted on 17 August 1819 in Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, Northumberland, where he was sentenced to life transportation to Australia. From the time of his trial until the sailing of his convict ship, Ralph lived on a hulk. Ralph’s ship, “The Neptune 1” disembarked from Downs, England on 23rd March 1820 with a long journey ahead of them. The ship’s master was William McKissock and the surgeon was Jas Mitchell.
The Neptune 1 arrived into Sydney Harbour on 17 July 1920 with 156 convicts on board after 114 days of cramped and demeaning hell.
LIFE IN AUSTRALIA:
Ralph Hush was immediately taken to work at a farm and muster at Wingacarribee, NSW. The owner and founder of this farm and all it’s properties was the famous explorer, John Oxley. Ralph Hush was taken under the wing of Oxley and worked for 4 solid years on the muster. Life must have been hard on the farms, working everyday in the hot highlands sun after so many years in the cold of England. Until, finally, some good news.
On 25th April 1808 in Norham, Northumberland, England. Ralph Hush married 24 year old Margaret Robinson, his life long and faithful wife. The marriage was to last 52 years, until the death of Ralph Hush in 1860. With Margaret, Ralph had 4 children in Etal, Northumberland; Ralph Hush Jr ( 1808-1876), Phillis Hush ( 1809-1876), Joseph Hush ( 1911-1850), Sarah Hush (1818-1847?)
In 1823 Margaret wrote to the Governor of New South Wales asking to be reunited and to join her husband in Australia as a free settler. Margaret was part of the early resettlement of convict families who’s passage to the colonies was paid for by the British Government. (See pages in the “Two Voyages ” attached to this file)
Below is a transcript of the letter to the Governor sent in 1823.
“To his Excellency General Darling Goveneror in Chief of the Colony of New South Wales and it’s Dependency’s Humble Petitioner arrived in the Colony in May 1824,. Free with four children, to join her husband, Ralph Hush, a prisoner for life by Neptune in 1820. That your Excellency’s Humble Petitioner’s husband is now and has been since his arrival in July 1820, the assigned Government servant of John Oxley Esq; who has treated him and Petitioner exceedingly well. That your Excellency’s Humble Petitioner has lately perceived thro’ the medium of the Public Prints that your Excellency is disposed to serve every deserving married man, is therefore emboldened to hope that your Excellency will be humanely pleased to allow of Petitioners husband being transfered to her, with the view of his being the more enabled to render Petitioner and her four children that support which they ought to expect. That Mr Oxley is desirous to since his arrival now six years and is willing to transfer him to Petitioner as hereunder certified should it meet your Excellency’ wishes. Petitioner therefore most earnestly and most respectfully prays that your Excellency will be humanely pleased to acquiesce to Petitioner’s request for which mark of your Excellency benignity Petitioner and family will be ever gratefully pray.
Margaret emigrated to Australia in 1823 on the ship “Brothers” arriving in Sydney NSW on the 7th may 1824 with her four children. Whilst Ralph was still under the control of the penal system.
Margaret found a place to live and bring up her children. Evidence shows that the family reacted well to the relocation.
Ralph Hush was pardoned from his life sentence soon after his family joined him and became one of the first convicts to ever escape a life sentence after a term of only 4 years.
LIFE IN BRAIDWOOD;
In 1831 Ralph Hush was granted land at Mongarlowe, Braidwood, NSW and moved his family there by 1839. He helped to establish a long and colourful history of Hush’s there. For the rest of his life, Ralph was a humble farmer on various properties around the general Mongarlowe area, on farms such as ” Eastfield, Marlowe, Charetyong and St Omer” His son, Ralph Hush Jnr, eventually bought several of these farms and owned many inns, in and around the towns of Braidwood and Berrima. For a while in later life, Ralph Hush Jr, was a magistrate in Picton, New South Wales. Ralph Hush died on the property of Durran Durra, Braidwood, New South Wales, Australia on the 2nd June 1860 at the age of 77.
He was buried on Eastfield, and remains there to this day.
Convict Changes History
David Seal on 18th January, 2015 made the following changes:
date of birth: 1784 (prev. 0000), occupation, crime