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Mary Meeking, one of 101 convicts transported on the Burrell, 31 December 1831
Name, Aliases & Gender
Birth, Occupation & Death
|Date of Birth:
|Date of Death:
life span was 57 years*
* Median life span based on contributions
Conviction & Transportation
Sentenced to Life
||Australian Joint Copying Project. Microfilm Roll 89, Class and Piece Number HO11/8, Page Number 246
||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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Penny-Lyn Beale on 13th September, 2020 wrote:
New South Wales, Australia, Convict Indents, 1788-1842. Burrell (2) 20 May 1832.
No; 171 - 32. 24. Mary Meeking
Age; 32 Est Date of Birth; 1800
Occupation; Silk Factory. Housemaid
Offence; Stealing Gold Chain
Family in the Colony; Uncle, Samuel Gilbert, 20 years ago
Dianne Jones on 8th April, 2021 wrote:
1831, 8 September: Daniel Field and Mary Meeking were tried at the Old Bailey, convicted for theft and sentenced to transportation for life. On his VDL Convict Record, Daniel Field says he and Mary were in a defacto relationship. The following is a transcript of the trial:
“Before Mr. Justice Alderson.
#1552. DANIEL FIELD and MARY MEEKING were indicted for feloniously assaulting Duncan Gollan, on the 14th of August, putting him in fear, and taking from his person and against his will, 1 hat, value 20s.; 1 snuffbox, value 2s.; 1 watch-guard, value 5s.; 1 pocket-book, value 2s.; 8 sovereigns, 17 shillings, one 20l., and one 5l. Bank note, his property.
DUNGAN GOLLAN: I am a private gentleman, and live in Wormwood-street. On Sunday morning, the 14th of August, about half-past one o’clock, I was coming home through Rose-lane, Spitalfields, and saw about six persons standing on the pavement and in the road - to the best of my recollection there were two men and four women; the prisoner Field was one of them - it was not very dark, and there was a lamp at a short distance; I had never seen him before - as I was about to pass them the men seized me by the arms, forced me against the wall of a house, and kept me there; the others began to rifle my pockets - they took a black leather pocketbook out of my left-hand trousers pocket, containing a 20l., a 10l., and a 5l. Bank note, and a guard-chain from round my neck; my watch was not attached to it - it was made of silk, and had gold beads fixed to it; they took a snuff box, eight sovereigns, and sixteen or seventeen shillings, from my right-hand trousers pocket - I had accidentally torn one corner of the 10l. note off, but cannot say at which end; I folded the torn part in the rest, and had the whole note - my hat was also taken off; this did not last more than three or four minutes, I should think - I had drank a little rum-and-water after supper, but was perfectly sober; I called Murder! and Police! a person immediately put his hand before my mouth, and I could not halloo - they tore my coat with pulling my hands from holding my pocket; they dispersed when they had got my money - it happened near the Bishopsgate-street end of Rose-lane; I am certain Field is the man who held my left arm - I do not know Meeking; I have seen none of the property except the chain - no blows were struck.
Cross-examined by MR. PHILLIPS: Q. Have you always sworn that Field held your arm? A. I swore he was one of the party that held me; I do not know that I mentioned my arm - I swore to him at the first examination; I gave the name of Donald McTavish at the first examination - I was not asked my name before I was sworn; having shortly come from Scotland, I thought my name being inserted in the reports might distress my friends - McTavish was my mother’s name; I gave my real name before my evidence was read over to me, and told the Magistrate my reason for giving the first name; I had been three days in London - I went straight home after the robbery; I went to no public-house, but after the robbery, as I was going home, one of the robbers followed me, and asked if I had any more money, as he wanted something to drink - I was in fear of my life at the moment, and glad to get away on any condition; I had a few halfpence left, and gave them to him - I should know him again, but have never seen him since; I gave nobody any thing else - I do not know the Queen’s Head in Fashion-street.
Q. Did you not sit yourself down on the step of a door instead of going home? A. I did not, except at the time they robbed me; it happened about half-past one o’clock - I had dined at my lodging, in Wormwood-street, at five, and had a glass of warm rum-and-water, and perhaps a glass of porter; I left home at half-past nine - I am not well acquainted with town; I went to call on a Mr. Ross, who was ill - he lives near Finsbury-square; I did not know his house - I was directed to a baker, who showed it to me; I cannot remember whether I drank any thing there - I swear I did not drink a bottle of wine there; I do not think I took any thing - I left about half-past eleven o’clock, and was going to a Mr. McDonald, in the Commercial-road, but could not find his house; I then returned directly home - I went to a tavern in Fenchurch-street before I went to Mr. Ross, and may have had two glasses of rum-and-water there: I could swear it was not three - I only paid 1s. there: I was at no other public-house - I drank nothing at Mr. Ross to the best of my recollection, and am sure I had no wine; I did not state at the office that I was intoxicated - I denied that I was; I swear I was not on the step of a door, except when these people were holding me.
COURT: Q.How many times were you at the office? A. Five - my examination was written down the last time; I gave my right name at the second examination.
MARIA JOHNSON: I live in Rose-lane. On Sunday morning, the 14th of August, I got out of bed to let a lodger in; I do not know what time it was - the prisoners lived three or four doors from me, on the other side of the way, in the same house, but I do not know that they live together; when I got up I saw five or six people standing over the way, and heard a gentleman ask for his hat - I saw the prisoners coming to the mob; they were about half a yard from the person who asked for his hat -I left them, went to bed, and next day, about one or two o’clock, I saw Meeking with a necklace round her neck: it was silk or hair - I saw beads on it; I have seen the guard - it was such a thing as that; I never saw her with such a thing before.
SARAH JOHNSON: I am the last witness’ mother. I got up about half-past one or two o’clock, when this took place - I let the lodger in myself; my daughter was up- I saw both the prisoners in the street; there were four or five other people altogether - I saw them doing nothing but hanging over a man: I do not know who it was - I cannot say whether it was the prosecutor; they were stooping towards him - he was sitting on the step. as near as I could judge, while they were hanging over him.
MARY WARD: I saw these people in the street that night - the prisoner were among them; I think it was about half-past one o’clock - I cannot say what the people were doing: I was only looking through the window- there were a great many people there.
Cross-examined: Q. Were not the prisoner at some distance from the gentleman? A.There might be seven or eight people standing, and they were among them.
JOSEPH ALLEN: I live in Wentworth-street - I saw the people in Rose-lane, standing round a gentleman, who was rather intoxicated; I saw one lift up his arm - I do not know who it was, as it was dark; I did not see them take any thing - I saw one man with a brown guard-chain in his hand; it was just like the one produced - the gentleman had no bat on; he was asleep on the step of a door when I saw him - five or six were round him; he appeared to be asleep, because his hands were on his face, and his elbows on his knees; he made no noise, nor resistance - he appeared to be asleep - I was coming home, and met Reynolds; he and I went up, and saw this.
Cross-examined: Q. Did any body come up after you? A. No; I have known Field some years - I saw him come up backwards and forwards two or three times; I did not see him take any thing from the man, but we kept at a distance from them - I did not rouse the man, as there were five or six; they might have struck me, or something.
COURT: Q.Your only reason for saying he was asleep is because he sat with his hands on his face? A. Yes; I saw the female prisoner there.
THOMAS REYNOLDS: I am a butcher, and was with Allen - I know the prisoners well by sight; I saw them both there - there were four more men, but I saw no other woman; I did not see the transaction till I saw the prosecutor sitting on a step - he had no hat on; he was rather in liquor, I think, and asleep - these people were round him; I saw one of them take the guard off his neck while he sat in that state - he did not resist; he appeared fast asleep - I do not know who took it; the prisoners might be a yard or a yard and a half from the man who took it.
Cross-examined: Q. He made no sign that he knew they were taking the guard? No - they lifted his head back, and took the guard off, but he never spoke; he was between asleep and awake - Allen and I were about the same distance as the prisoners, but they were there before us; I cannot say whether Field took the guard off or not- I gave no alarm; I wanted to get home.
HENRY KENNY: On the night in question I was in Fashion-street, near Rose-lane; I heard a person cry Robbery! and Murder! I ran into Rose-lane, and saw the prosecutor standing up, with a parcel of women holding his hands; there were four or five women, I suppose - they were encouraging each other to take something out of his pocket; there was no man there that I particularly noticed at that moment, but there might have been; I do not know whether Meeking was there: when I got there I picked up a hat, and put it on the gentleman’s head; it was laying in the kennel - I turned round, and saw a person very much like Field with a black pocket-book in his hand; he opened it, shook it, and said, “My friends, there arn’t a bl-y mag in it;” he and another man enticed the prosecutor up to the top of Fashion-street, and asked him for something to drink; they brought him up to the door of a private house, and said, “This is a public-house, let us have something to drink;” the prosecutor put his hands into his pockets, and gave them three or four halfpence; I think it was the prisoner took them - they both said, “Good night, my friend;” I did not see them do any thing to his pockets.
Cross-examined: Q. Are you sure it was to two men he gave the halfpence? A. There were two men together - I was not at the Queen’s Head; I swear I never said Field was not the man - he is as much like the man as I ever saw: I never said the prosecutor offered me 5l. to swear to Field - I said if I could swear to him the inspector would make it as good as 5l. to me; the inspector of the Police told me so.
CHARLES VANDERSTEIN: I know the prisoner Field - he came to me about a fornight ago last Saturday, and asked if I could change a 10l. note; I looked at it - it was very much rumpled: it was a Bank note, and the lefthand corner was torn off; I did not change it, thinking it ... was not a good note; I returned it to him - I did not see the other part of it; this was after the 14th of August - I keep a public-house.
CHARLOTTE MOLLER: I live at the Black Swan, Rose-lane, which my father keeps. I saw Meeking in our taproom last Sunday three weeks - she had a chain, and asked if I would have it; I said Yes, and she gave it to me - I took it up stairs, and afterwards gave it to Attfield.
WILLIAM ATTFIELD: I received this chain from Moller.
DUNCAN GOLLAN: This is the guard I had on my neck - I was not on the steps till they forced me down against the wall - I was leaning backwards, not standing straight- the chain was taken from me after the pocket-book- I was kept at that time with my head back against the door; my hat was taken off before.
Cross-examined: Q. Do you swear that just previous to the chain being taken, you had not your elbows on your knees, and your hands on your face? A. No, I had not.
Meeking’s Defence: I got up on Sunday morning between four and five o’clock, and picked up this chain at the corner of Catherine Wheel-alley, all over dirt - I did not think it of any value, and in the afternoon I asked the witness if she would have it, and I tore it off my neck.
FIELD - GUILTY. Aged 31.
MEEKING - GUILTY. Aged 31.
Of stealing from the person only. - Transported for Life.” (see https://www.oldbaileyonline.org/)
What happened to Daniel Field? He was sent to VDL per the Katherine Stewart Forbes (1832) and was granted a Conditional Pardon in 1845.
Dianne Jones on 8th April, 2021 wrote:
1832: Mary Meeking was ill during the voyage, according to these excerpts (on record in the National Archives) from the Burrell’s medical journal:
“Folio 8: case no 11, Mary Meeking, aged 31, prisoner, taken ill at sea; sick or hurt, hysteria, attacked with hysteria during the night, spasms were very severe, complained of violent pain in the region of the heart; put on sick list 14 February 1832, discharged 17 February 1832 cured.”
“Folio 36: no. 58, Mary Meeking, aged 31, prisoner; diseases, hysteria; put on sick list 15 May 1832, discharged 19 May 1832.” (see https://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/C10306971).
Convict Changes History
Penny-Lyn Beale on 13th September, 2020 made the following changes:
date of birth: 1800 (prev. 0000), gender: f, occupation, crime