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William Jones

William Jones, one of 270 convicts transported on the Nile, 18 September 1857

Name, Aliases & Gender

Name: William Jones
Aliases: none
Gender: m

Birth, Occupation & Death

Date of Birth: 1828
Occupation: Blacksmith
Date of Death: -
Age: -

Life Span

Life span

Male median life span was 51 years*

* Median life span based on contributions

Conviction & Transportation

Sentence Severity

Sentence Severity

Sentenced to 20 years

Crime: Robbery with violence
Convicted at: Lancashire, Liverpool Assizes
Sentence term: 20 years
Ship: Nile
Departure date: 18th September, 1857
Arrival date: 1st January, 1858
Place of arrival Western Australia
Passenger manifest Travelled with 270 other convicts

References

Primary source: Australian Joint Copying Project. Microfilm Roll 93, Class and Piece Number HO11/18, Page Number 237 (120). --00--Chipulina, Neville (2013). “1842 - The 'Gib' Convicts - Skipper Figallo and the Fandangillo”, available at https://gibraltar-intro.blogspot.com/2013/08/1842-gib-convicts-figallo-and.html --00--Edgar, W. (Bill). (2018). “The precarious voyage of her majesty’s convict ship ‘Nile’ to the Swan River colony, late 1857 – and the unexpected aftermath.” The Great Circle, 40(1), 20–43. https
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

Dianne Jones on 26th January, 2022 wrote:

COMMITTAL:

28 January, 1850: William Jones, John Flanagan and John Harrison were committed for trial by CJS Walker Esq.

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Dianne Jones on 26th January, 2022 wrote:

TRIAL:

21 March, 1850: William Jones (22) was found guilty of robbery together with others, accompanied with personal violence on 26 January, “having at Manchester, with great personal violence, assaulted Richard Williams and robbed him of 15 shillings, his monies”. His co-accused, John Flanagan (22), was also convicted and sentenced to two years’ jail, while John Harrison (23) was acquitted.

William Jones had been convicted five times previously for thefts and assaults and jailed for a total of 18 months 42 days (UK, Prison Commission Records, 1770-1951; Liverpool Gaol; Calendar of Trials to 1874).

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Dianne Jones on 26th January, 2022 wrote:

JAILS:

21 January, 1850: William Jones was admitted to Liverpool Gaol, listed as case #16, 22 years old, able to read and write imperfectly. He was held there in association with other prisoners and in separate confinement for 11 months 13 days.

“After a sentence of transportation was handed down, the prisoner entered into a separate stage where he was placed into an individual cell, isolated from others, apart from brief periods of exercise and attendance at chapel. However, no communication of any kind with other prisoners was permitted at any time. The philosophy behind this penal methodology had its provenances in the religious, monastic traditions; i.e., that in the isolation of his cell the malefactor would be able to contemplate the errors of his way, unadulterated by the negative influences of former contemporaries, and be reformed.” (Edgar, 2018, pp39-40)

When first put into practice, the mandated period of separate confinement was 18 months. By the late 1840s, authorities had conceded that such conditions of imprisonment were “injurious to many prisoners’ mental health” and the stint was reduced to 12 months. Periods of separate confinement were reduced further “as a prisoner displayed good behaviour tendencies” (Edgar, p40).

Wakefield, Millbank, Pentonville and Mountjoy in Ireland were the “Probation” or “Separate” prisons, as were some local jails. (UK, Prison Commission Records, 1770-1951; Liverpool Gaol; Calendar of Trials to 1874).

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Dianne Jones on 26th January, 2022 wrote:

26 December, 1850: He was admitted to the Stirling Castle hulk, moored at Devonport, Portsmouth. He was held there for 2 months 5 days.

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Dianne Jones on 26th January, 2022 wrote:

4 March, 1851: He was sent per the Hamilton Mitchell to Gibraltar, where he laboured on public works for 6 years 4 months.

The penal servitude system used Gibraltar as an outlying branch of Millbank — “the terrible base prison” in London on whose site the Tate Gallery now stands. “It never promised more remission than one year in four, and sentences were high” (Chipulina 2013). Between 1842 and 1875, Gibraltar, along with Bermuda, was regarded as the second stage in the penal process (along with Portsmouth, Portland and Chatham in England and Spike Island in Ireland) “whereby convicts spent one to three years on public works, after which they would be sent on to Australia” (Chipulina 2013).

After separate confinement, prisoners were “placed on work parties at various locations, most commonly naval stations, where maintenance of facilities was vital for the effective protection of Britain’s far flung commercial and military influences around the world. While there, attitude and behaviour were monitored closely. In theory, only after consistently positive reports was a prisoner moved on to the third stage of his incarceration—transportation.” (Edgar 2018, p40).

On Gibraltar, as “convicts worked together with free men on the dockyards, lines between them became blurred. Convicts, like seamen, were ‘easily recognised’ by ‘their swarthy, weather beaten complexions…[and] muscular well-knit frames’. The discipline on the penal settlement was also influenced by the naval department, who superintended part of the works. In the 1840s, for example, convicts were provided ‘a half gill of rum’ at 11 AM and 5PM, which they drank from a trough. This mirrored the daily allowance of diluted rum, known as grog, to Royal Naval seamen in the Victorian era. Convicts were also allowed to use part of their earnings, to buy goods, usually tobacco, which they were allowed to smoke in the evening in the barracks. Though official correspondence cited health reasons for grog allowance, it seems likely that the convict authorities feared insubordination if they were banned from drinking and smoking, which were provided to the sappers and dockyard workers whom they worked alongside…. In 1854, the acting overseer stated that “half of the offences were committed when the men were excited by rum”. For more serious offences, convicts were flogged with a ‘cat o’nine tails’ whip against the ‘flogging mast’, and during an investigation Dr William Baly concluded that the whip which was used was an old naval cat, which was ‘much heavier than any now used in the government prison and hulks at home, or in the army.’” (Roscoe, 2018).

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Dianne Jones on 26th January, 2022 wrote:

4 July, 1857: Admitted to Portsmouth prison, in Penny Street, Portsmouth, Hampshire; inmate #4091. He was listed as 20 years old (when convicted) [this differs from the Liverpool record] and able to read and write. There are dashes in the sections for marital status, occupation, next of kin and religion. “No caption form” is written under “Previous convictions and character”.

By this time, he had served 7 years 5 months and 18 days in jail (UK, Prison Commission Records, 1770-1951; Portsmouth Prison; Registers of Prisoners; 1855-1858).

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Dianne Jones on 26th January, 2022 wrote:

8 September, 1857: William JONES was sent to board the Nile for transportation to WA; convict #5/4091. His behaviour on the voyage was “very good”. (Western Australia, Australia, Convict Records, 1846-1930; Convict Department, Registers; Convicts Transported Per Nile (R32)).

His WA Character Book record lists him as a “jobbing smith” by trade (Western Australia, Australia, Convict Records, 1846-1930; Convict Department, Registers; Character Book for Nos 4508-5585 (R8)).

The word “jobbing” as the prefix with another occupation indicates that the person was being paid for a job of work (Dictionary of Old Occupations at https://www.familyresearcher.co.uk/).

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Dianne Jones on 26th January, 2022 wrote:

IN WA:

From his Fremantle jail record:

JONES, William; inmate #4690, arrived 1 Jan 1858 per Nile

Date of Birth: 1828
Marital Status: Unmarried
Occupation: Smith
Literacy: Literate

Sentence Place: Liverpool, Lancashire, England
Crime: Robbery with violence, with others
Sentence Period: 20 years

Ticket of Leave Date: 17 Mar 1858
Conditional Pardon Date: 3 Sep 1859 (https://fremantleprison.com.au/).

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Dianne Jones on 26th January, 2022 wrote:

From the Toodyay Convicts database:

Jones, William (1828- ), #4690, 1858-01-01 per Nile

CWA: Unm; smith; lit; conv with others and all sent to WA [several men who were convicted at the same Liverpool sessions were transported on the Nile]; rob & violence 20 yrs; Toodyay ((https://www.toodyay.wa.gov.au/).

Dianne Jones on 26th January, 2022 wrote:

Correction:

He was sent to Gibraltar on 4 March, 1851, per the convict ship HAMILLA MITCHELL (not Hamilton Mitchell).

Convict Changes History

Dianne Jones on 26th January, 2022 made the following changes:

date of birth: 1828 (prev. 0000)

Dianne Jones on 26th January, 2022 made the following changes:

crime

Dianne Jones on 26th January, 2022 made the following changes:

source: Australian Joint Copying Project. Microfilm Roll 93, Class and Piece Number HO11/18, Page Number 237 (120). --00--Chipulina, Neville (2013). “1842 - The 'Gib' Convicts - Skipper Figallo and the Fandangillo”, available at https://gibraltar-intro.b

Dianne Jones on 26th January, 2022 made the following changes:

source: Australian Joint Copying Project. Microfilm Roll 93, Class and Piece Number HO11/18, Page Number 237 (120). --00--Chipulina, Neville (2013). “1842 - The 'Gib' Convicts - Skipper Figallo and the Fandangillo”, available at https://gibraltar-intro.b

Dianne Jones on 26th January, 2022 made the following changes:

gender: m

Dianne Jones on 8th March, 2022 made the following changes:

occupation

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