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William Massey

William Massey, one of 160 convicts transported on the Sir Charles Forbes, 01 April 1830

Name, Aliases & Gender

Name: William Massey
Aliases: none
Gender: m

Birth, Occupation & Death

Date of Birth: 12th February, 1797
Occupation: Ploughman/shearer
Date of Death: 29th June, 1842
Age: 45 years

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 14 years

Crime: Larceny
Convicted at: Bucks Quarter Session
Sentence term: 14 years
Ship: Sir Charles Forbes
Departure date: 1st April, 1830
Arrival date: 27th July, 1830
Place of arrival Van Diemen's Land
Passenger manifest Travelled with 159 other convicts

References

Primary source: Australian Joint Copying Project. Microfilm Roll 89, Class and Piece Number HO11/7, Page Number 287 (146)
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

Judith Moyle on 2nd May, 2022 wrote:

William Massey (1797-1841)

William Massey was born in Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire on 12th of February, 1797. He was the eldest son of Thomas and Sarah Massey. He had two younger siblings. It seems that as a young adult, although he seems to have worked on a farm William developed a penchant for stealing. He had married Susannah Crockett of Wootten, on the 24th of September, 1819, when he was 22 yrs of age, at Saint Mary’s Church, Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire. He and Susannah already had their 2 eldest children prior to their marriage.
When he first comes to our notice, William had already been convicted for stealing and imprisoned locally four times.  Sometime in late 1829, however, William was caught for stealing thirty-four hundred weight of iron railway and sundry pieces of timber called sleepers. It seems he may have been doing this once per month over a considerable period of time and storing his takings at his property. At this point in time William and Susannah had 6 children: Richard (12 yrs) 1817-1857); Mary Ann (11 yrs) 1818-1873); Louisa (7yrs) 1822-1832; Hannah (6 yrs) 1823 -1911); Soloman (4yrs) 1825-1884); and William (2 yrs) 1827-1889).
While he awaited sentence, William was kept on a Prison Hulk, where he was reported to have behaved in an orderly manner. Then, at the Buckinghamshire Quarterly Session on January 12th 1830, he was sentenced to transportation to Van Diemans Land (Tasmania) for 14 years. It is hard to imagine how traumatic this must have been for Susannah, with so many children to support and care for without a husband and father to provide for them.
William was allocated to be transported on the ship ‘Sir Charles Forbes’, which had been built in Aberdeen in 1824.  The ship’s voyage master was James Leslie and the ship’s surgeon was William Petrie. They sailed on 5th April 1830 from Plymouth and arrived in Tasmania on the 27th July 1830. The voyage took 113 days and had 158 convicts onboard.
On arrival in Hobart Town, William was assigned to Mr Archibald McDowell, a free settler who had taken up a property in the Clyde Valley in 1824, North of Hobart, which he named Logan (Descendents of Archibald McDowell still own the original Logan Farm and land, as well as having, in 1899, purchased the next-door Thorpe Farm, on which an historic water mill for grinding grain was built. The Mill was restored in recent years by the current owner, John Bignell, himself a descendent of McDowell). William was allocated to a farm because of his credentials for being a ploughman and able to shear sheep. The McDowell property presumably bred sheep.
In September 1831, William petitioned to have his wife Susannah and their children brought to Tasmania. Archibald McDowall covered the costs of their travel. Susannah and the children set sail on the ship the ‘Francis Charlotte’ in late 1832, arriving in Hobart on the 10th of January, 1833.

Subsequent to Susannah’s arrival, four more children were born at Logan, Bothwell: Thomas B (1833-1876), Charles Henry (1835-1843), George Daniel (1838-1919 and Emma (1838-1863)
William was granted a Ticket of Leave on 12th of July 1833 and in 1834 he was listed to be working as a bricklayer and was appointed as a part-time Constable. However, sadly, in 1839 William committed another felony and was deprived of his Ticket of Leave and taken back into in custody.
On September 2nd, 1839, he was found guilty and his original sentence of 14 years was increased by 18 months, to hard labour in the Oatlands work gang. He died while working on a road gang, on 29/06/1841.

Convict Changes History

Judith Moyle on 2nd May, 2022 made the following changes:

date of birth: 12th February, 1797 (prev. 0000), date of death: 29th June, 1842 (prev. 0000), gender: m, occupation, crime

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