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William Long

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

Name, Aliases & Gender

Name: William Long
Aliases: none
Gender: m

Birth, Occupation & Death

Date of Birth: 1826
Occupation: Woolcomber
Date of Death: 5th November, 1889
Age: 63 years

Life Span

Life span

Male median life span was 53 years*

* Median life span based on contributions

Conviction & Transportation

Sentence Severity

Sentence Severity

Sentenced to 10 years

Crime: Stealing
Convicted at: Norfolk, Norwich Assizes
Sentence term: 10 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 241 (122). --0-- 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://www.jstor.org/stable/26783779
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 2nd January, 2022 wrote:

TRIAL:

13 March, 1855: William Long and Richard Wright were committed for trial charged with “stealing lead and attempting to stab Mr George Jay and a police Constable named Woods” (Norwich Mercury, 17 March 1855, p4).

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24 July, 1855: William Long was convicted at Norwich Assizes for stealing 16 pounds of lead, the property Mr John Youngs, brewer, and sentenced to 10 years’ penal servitude.

Local newspaper reports after his trial focussed on “the humane conduct” of George Jay “in assisting police-constable Robert Blaze Woods, at the imminent risk of his own life, in the apprehension of William Long, a returned transport, having in his possession a quantity of stolen lead, and who probably would have mortally wounded” either Woods or Jay (Norwich Mercury, 4 August, p4).

William Long had a previous conviction for felony, in January 1846, for stealing a pocket handkerchief from the person, and was sentenced to 10 years’ transportation (Western Australia, Australia, Convict Records, 1846-1930; Convict Department, Registers; Character Book for Nos 4508-5585 (R8)).

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Dianne Jones on 2nd January, 2022 wrote:

JAILS:

March, 1855: William Long was held at Norwich City (Norwich Castle County Gaol and House of Correction), in Norfolk, for 17 months, in association with other prisoners.

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Dianne Jones on 2nd January, 2022 wrote:

14 August, 1856: He was admitted to Millbank gaol in London, inmate #3274. He served 8 months 22 days in separate confinement.

“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).

Millbank, Wakefield, Pentonville and Mountjoy in Ireland were the “Probation” or “Separate” prisons, as were some local jails.

In Millbank, he was listed as a wool comber, aged 29 [when convicted], married with one child, semi-literate and Church of England. Next of kin—his wife (not named), living at Thorne Lane, Bert Street, Norwich. A notation on this record says he has “permission to write a letter 21.4.57”.

His behaviour in separate confinement is listed as “bad” (UK, Prison Commission Records, 1770-1951; Millbank Prison; Register of Prisoners to 1885).

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Dianne Jones on 2nd January, 2022 wrote:

6 June, 1857: William Long was admitted to Chatham prison in Kent; inmate #945.

Chatham, Portland, Portsmouth and Spike Island in Ireland were listed public works stations and the second stage in the penal process.

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, p40)

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Dianne Jones on 2nd January, 2022 wrote:

September, 1857: He was sent to board the Nile for transportation to WA, listed as #2/945; his behaviour was “good” at Chatham (Western Australia, Australia, Convict Records, 1846-1930; Convict Department, Registers; Convicts Transported Per Nile (R32)).

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Dianne Jones on 2nd January, 2022 wrote:

IN WA:

From his Fremantle jail record:

LONG, William; #4731, arrived 1 Jan 1858 per Nile

Date of Birth: 1828
Marital Status: Married 1 child
Occupation: Stone cutter [listed as a woolcomber and stone mason on other WA Convict records]
Literacy: Semiliterate

Sentence Place: Norwich, Norfolk, England
Crime: Felony
Sentence Period: 10 years penal servitude

Ticket of Leave Date: 12 Jun 1860
Conditional Pardon Date: 17 Oct 1864
Comments: Labourer (https://fremantleprison.com.au/).

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Dianne Jones on 2nd January, 2022 wrote:

OTHER:

From the Toodyay Convicts database:

Long, William (1828-1889)*
#4731 1858-01-01 Nile
CWA: Mar; 1 chd; stone cutter; semi lit Prot; felony 10 yrs; Toodyay, York; lab.
BDWA: LONG, William, b. 1828. d. 5.11.1889/1901 (Toodyay) (expiree), arr. 1.1.1858 per Nile (https://www.toodyay.wa.gov.au/).

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Dianne Jones on 2nd January, 2022 wrote:

DEATHS:

The death of a William Long, aged 76, was registered in 1901 in WA, reg no 2050 (https://bdm.justice.wa.gov.au/).

Convict Changes History

Dianne Jones on 2nd January, 2022 made the following changes:

gender: m

Dianne Jones on 2nd January, 2022 made the following changes:

occupation

Dianne Jones on 2nd January, 2022 made the following changes:

crime

Dianne Jones on 2nd January, 2022 made the following changes:

date of birth: 1826 (prev. 0000)

Dianne Jones on 2nd January, 2022 made the following changes:

date of death: 5th November, 1889 (prev. 0000)

Dianne Jones on 2nd January, 2022 made the following changes:

source: Australian Joint Copying Project. Microfilm Roll 93, Class and Piece Number HO11/18, Page Number 241 (122). --0-- Edgar, W. (Bill). (2018). “The precarious voyage of her majesty’s convict ship ‘Nile’ to the Swan River colony, late 1857 – and the

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