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William Marsh

William Marsh, one of 169 convicts transported on the Mellish, 10 November 1828

Name, Aliases & Gender

Name: William Marsh
Aliases: none
Gender: m

Birth, Occupation & Death

Date of Birth: 1st April, 1811
Occupation: Farmer
Date of Death: 25th March, 1879
Age: 67 years

Life Span

Life span

Male median life span was 54 years*

* Median life span based on contributions

Conviction & Transportation

Sentence Severity

Sentence Severity

Sentenced to 7 years

Crime: Stealing
Convicted at: Cambridge Town Quarter Sessions
Sentence term: 7 years
Ship: Mellish
Departure date: 10th November, 1828
Arrival date: 18th April, 1829
Place of arrival New South Wales
Passenger manifest Travelled with 169 other convicts


Primary source: Australian Joint Copying Project. Microfilm Roll 89, Class and Piece Number HO11/6, Page Number 507 (255)
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

Anonymous on 20th November, 2011 wrote:

WILLIAM MARSH born Ist. April 1811 , was convicted at the Cambridge Assizes for stealing toys in 1824. He was sentenced to 7 years transportation,but was held on the "hulks",untill 1828, were he was taught the bootmaking trade.
  He was transported on the "Mellish", in November 1828, arriving in NSW 18th April 1829. and was assigned to George Barber at Bungonia. William subsequently lived most of his life in the Bungonia- Jerrarra- Goulburn region.
  In 1831 he received a Certificate of Freedom, and it was about this time he took Mary Ann Brien or Bryan, as his common law wife. William and Mary had 6 children. Mary died in 1861 and William remarried the widow Emma Hinton nee Green, with whom he had 4 children, in 1864.
  When William died at "Riggsdale"Goulburn, the home of his daughter and son -in-law Mary Ann, and William Jobson in 1879, a newspaper article said he was a"most respected resident" of the district.

Stephanie Phillips on 30th April, 2013 wrote:

He had two previous convictions recorded on his indent record prior to the one where he was sent to Australia with a sentence of 7 years.

Maureen Withey on 13th November, 2019 wrote:

William Marsh, aged 13, and Thomas Marsh, aged 12, were convicted of stealing two penknives from Mr. Sadd’s shop, in Trumpington-street, on Thursday evening the inst. The former was sentenced to one month’s imprisonment hard labour, and to once be privately whipped; and the latter, to be imprisoned one day, and delivered to his former mistress, who engaged to take him again.
Cambridge Chronicle, 16 Jan 1824

Cambridge Town Sessions
William Marsh (aged 13) and John Rickwood (aged 16) were charged with having stolen a number of toys, of the value of ? s. out of the shop of Mr. Samuel Richardson in Regent-street. The prosecutor stated, that on Saturday the 2d of October, between seven and eight o’clock the evening the two prisoners went into his shop, and enquired the price of a box which was the window and then walked out. saw the elder prisoner afterwards near the window, and about an hour he missed the toys, which were standing on a shelf near the door.  There were nearly thirty toys taken away, one half of the shelf being entirely cleared.—A boy, of the name of Flack, saw the prisoners on Midsummer-green, on the day following the robbery, about eight o’clock the morning. They called to him, and when he joined them, they told him there were some toys in the ditch which he then perceived floating on the top of the water. There was a great number of them, and he succeeded in getting some of the toys out, and took them home. In consequence of hearing of the robbery Mr. Richardson’s, Flack took the toys to him, and he instantly identified them as his property by a private mark.—The mother of Marsh appeared as a witness against her son.  She said he had been absent from home on the night in question, and, bearing of the robbery, she went in search of him. He was not, however, found till Sunday, and, when questioned respecting the toys he said the boy Rickwood had taken them. On searching the house of Rick wood’s father, several toys were found upon the chimney-piece, which were part of the stolen property.—Rickwood’s father said he saw the toys on the chimney-piece on Sunday morning, and his son told him he had got them off the common.—The prisoners, when called on for their defence, said they found the toys in the ditch. The jury returned verdict of guilty.  The Recorder, passing sentence, said the prisoners had before been convicted of felony, and had undergone punishment for their offences. To let them remain in the country would only be to leave them the opportunity of corrupting the morals of their associates, and the Court sentenced them to be transported for seven years. 
Cambridge Chronicle, 22 Oct 1824

John Richwood and William Marsh, who were convicted felony at the last quarter sessions for this town, and sentenced to seven years’ transportation, were on the 4th instant delivered on board the Leviathan hulk Portsmouth harbour.
Cambridge Chronicle, 12 Nov 1824

Leviathan Hulk Record HO-9-8-5 p26.
Received from Cambridge, (2 prisoners) 4 Nov 1824
No 7000 John Rickwood, age 16, Stealing children’s toys, 18 Oct 1824, Cambridge, 7 years. How disposed of? York hulk, 28 March 1826.
No 7001, William Marsh, age 14,  stealing children’s toys, 18 Oct 1824, Cambridge, 7 years. How disposed of? Bellopheron hulk, 31 May 1825.

There appears to be a discrepency in the hulk records, regarding to which hulk and on which date William left the Leviathan hulk.

Euryalus hulk record. HO-9-2-4 page 1

Fourteen from the Justicia Hulk, 9 May 1825
William Marsh, No 269 age 14, Crime, stealing children’s toys, Cambridge, 18 Oct 1824, sentence - 7 years, How disposed of - NSW Mellish, 4 Nov 1828.

The prison hulk, the Euryalus, an ex-frigate of the Trafalgar fleet, was moored at Chatham.  Over the twenty years that this hulk serviced juveniles, about 2,500 boys of fourteen and under passed through. There were also considerable numbers of older boys both in the juvenile hulk and distributed among the other hulks.  From the Euryalus, boys were transported both to New South Wales and to Van Diemen’s Land.

Maureen Withey on 13th November, 2019 wrote:

ON the 25th March, at Riggsdale, the residence of his son-in-law, Mr. William Jobson, in the 70th year of his age, WILLIAM MARSH, of Jerrara Creek, leaving a widow, five sons, three daughters, and a large circle of friends and acquaintances to mourn their loss.
THE friends of the late WILLIAM MARSH, Jerara Creek, are invited to attend his FUNERAL TO-MORROW (Thursday). The procession will leave the residence of his son-in-law, Mr. William Jobson, at 2 p.m., and reach the Church of England cemetery at 4 p.m.
The friends of Mr. W. Jobson are also invited to accept this intimation.
ANN RICHARDS,  Undertaker.
Goulburn Herald, 26 March 1879

Elle on 19th December, 2020 wrote:

William Marsh is my gggg g father he was a free settler after 3 years, given land and married

Aqua Wolf on 24th June, 2021 wrote:

William Marsh died when he was 71.
He was a bootmaker before he was a farmer.
He stole toys.
He lived in Goulburn, NSW, and was one of hte first people to live there.

Aqua Wolf on 24th June, 2021 wrote:

William Marsh
William Marsh was born in 1809, Cambridge, Cambridgeshire. He was my Grandpa’s great, great, great Grandfather, and my great, great, great, great, great Grandfather. He died on the 25th of March, 1879, when he was 71. He was a convict and he was made a convict when he was 13 years old. He immigrated when he was 19 years old and he left the United Kingdom on the 10th November, 1828. He arrived in Sydney on the 8th April, 1829. He was 20 years old when he arrived in Sydney.
William Marsh worked as a bootmaker from a young age. He was an apprentice bootmaker, and his employer was a bootmaker. He was found guilty of stealing some toys from his employer in 1824. William was the eldest child in his family and he had 5 brothers and sisters. He also lived in a very poor family. It was most likely a matter of desperation.
When William was found guilty of stealing in 1842, he was placed aboard a hulk, a giant, unmoving old ship on the river that served as a sort of prison. The hulk was in the Thames River and it was called the Leviathan. He stayed there for 5 years. After those 5 years, in 1828, he was transported to New South Wales on a boat named the Mellish. He was given a seven year transportation conviction in 1824. He spent 5 months on the Hellish, on a voyage from London through Foul Mouth through to Sydney.
William was the only person in his family who immigrated and he never went back to Cambridgeshire to see them again. The only people he knew were the other people who had been on the Leviathan. The hardest part of getting to Australia was probably being on the hulk in the river for 5 years. He is just shut in a floating prison for 5 years and then he gets taken to New South Wales.
When William Marsh got to Sydney, he finished his apprenticeship as a bootmaker. While he was a prisoner on the hulk, he was still considered a convict when he got to Sydney but people had to be made useful.
When he was 22, William Marsh was given his certificate of freedom from the government. This happened in 1831 and from then on, William Marsh was a free man. Becoming free was one of the things that he liked most about Australia.
From 1831, William was a bootmaker in a place called Castlereagh. Also in 1831, William took a wife, Mary Ann Bryan. She was an Irish convict and she came from Cork, Ireland, in 1829.
When he finished his apprenticeship, he and his wife, Mary Ann Bryan, moved to Goulburn. At that time, in 1831, Goulburn was only just being colonised. It had just been declared a site for colonization by Governor McQuarrrie. There was no town yet, and he and Mary Ann were some of the first people to colonize Goulburn. Goulburn is on the Gandangara land. He was a farmer, a cattle grazer, and had to set up enough funds to build a house, clear the land, stock property and find employment.
If you were someone who had regained your freedom, you would be determined to make the most of it, determined to have a happy and fulfilling life. William Marsh probably felt a wide range of emotions and feelings throughout his life, ranging from sadness, anger and guilt to happiness, liveliness and determination. Feelings and emotions can define what your life is like, but they can’t define who you are. Being free gives you happiness, but also responsibility.
Living in England in the 1800s would have meant living in cities that were fairly depressed, while living in Goulburn around the same time would have meant being free, living in big, free, open spaces with brightness and colour to the world. Around 1831, Goulburn also would have been the land of the local Aboriginal Peoples.
William had to get used to living in an environment where there was less rain and different soil. William also had to learn to be a farmer; he did not know before how to be a farmer.
When William died in 1879, there is evidence from the newspapers that William was a citizen of Goulburn of high esteem. He was appreciated as someone who had helped the local society and made the most of his time in Australia.
The biggest change for William in his journey would have been being a convict to becoming a free man.
William would have brought only himself on his journey, but he came out with a lot more.

Aqua Wolf on 24th June, 2021 wrote:

He was a bootmaker before he was a farmer.

Convict Changes History

Anonymous on 20th November, 2011 made the following changes:

date of birth 1811-04-01, date of death 1879-03-25, gender m

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