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William Muirhead

** community contributed record **

Name, Aliases & Gender

Name: William Muirhead
Aliases: Robert Muirhead
Gender: m

Birth, Occupation & Death

Date of Birth: 1802
Occupation: Soldier
Date of Death: -
Age: -

Life Span

Life span

Male median life span was 56 years*

* Median life span based on contributions

Conviction & Transportation

Sentence Severity

Sentence Severity

Sentenced to Life

Crime: Murder
Convicted at: -
Sentence term: Life
Ship: Cawdry
Departure date: 1826
Arrival date: 1826
Place of arrival New South Wales
Passenger manifest Travelled with 13 other convicts


Primary source: The Asiatic Journal and Monthly Magazine for British and Foreign .., Volume 19, May 1825. https://www.jenwilletts.com/sir_thomas_mitchell_expedition.htm
Source description:

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Community Contributions

Maureen Withey on 26th December, 2019 wrote:

William Muirhead was transported to New South Wales in 1826 on the Cawdry, from India.


William Muirhead was one of 14 military prisoners who came from India on the Cawdry.

Supreme Court, Oct 28 – Ebenezer Picken and William Muirhead were indicted for shooting a native at the cantonments of the subsidiary force at Nagpore. The jury after twice retiring, and a long deliberation, found the prisoners guilty, on the belief that what they confessed to their comrades - “we have killed a black fellow” - was fact; besides which, the defence they put forth was in itself sufficient to raise doubts of their innocence; for, they asserted, that the natives of the Nagapore country were in the habit of firing random shots to frighten away wild animals.
Mr Turton, however, has moved for an arrest of judgement, on the ground that it is no murder here, if the life of a man was taken in the territories of a foreign prince. He has applied for time to consider the case, previously to his ultimate address to the bench on this subject. (Beng. Hurk.)
Source - The Asiatic Journal and Monthly Magazine for British and Foreign ..,  Volume 19,  May 1825.

He was a member of the 1831 expedition of Sir Thomas Livingstone Mitchell, surveyor for roads and bridges.

Following are extracts from Sir Thomas Livingstone Mitchell’s journal pertaining to his journey from Parramatta, through the Hunter and to the Liverpool Ranges….......

I bade adieu to my family, and left Sydney at noon on Thursday, the 24th day of November 1831, being accompanied for some miles by my friend Colonel Snodgrass.

Nov. 30. - At length I had the satisfaction to see my party move forward in exploring order; it consisted of the following persons, viz.: -

Bullock Drivers - Robert/William Muirhead (Cawdry), Daniel Delaney (Asia 1822), James Forehan, …

These were the best men I could find. All were ready to face fire or water, in hopes of regaining by desperate exploits, a portion, at least, of that liberty which had been forfeited to the laws of their country. This was always a favourite service with the best disposed of the convict prisoners, for in the event of their meriting, by their good conduct, a favourable report on my return, the government was likely to grant them some indulgence.

I chose these men either from the characters they bore, or according to their trade or particular qualifications: ...
Robert Muirhead had been a soldier in India, and banished, for some mutiny, to New South Wales; where his steady conduct had obtained for him an excellent character.

Of the above men, six men would also accompany Sir Thomas Mitchell’s expedition in 1836 - Alexander Burnett, William Woods, John Palmer, Robert Muirhead, Joseph Jones, and Anthony Brown.

William received a Conditional Pardon.

Dated 25 November, 1835
Muirhead William, Cawdry.
By Command of His Excellency the Governor,
Sydney Gazette, 24 Dec 1836.

HIS Excellency the Governor has directed it to be notified that the Right Honorable the Secretary of State for the Colonies, has signified in his despatch No. 37, dated 4th December,  1837, Her Majesty’s gracious approbation and allowance of the Absolute and Conditional Pardons granted to the undermentioned individuals, viz. —
Dated 27th April, 1837.
Muirhead, William, Cawdry
Palmer, John, ‘Asia 2
Woods, William, Royal Charlotte
The Australian, 15 May 1838.

Penny-Lyn Beale on 26th March, 2021 wrote:

New South Wales, Australia, Convict Indents. Cawdry - 1826.
Indent No; 7
Name; William Muirhead.
Age; 25 [1801/2]
Reads & writes , Single
Native Place; Co. Stirling
Trade or calling; Soldier & Errand Boy
Offence; Murder. Calcutta
Sentence; Life.
Height; 5 ft. 8 1/4 in
Eyes; Hazel
Hair; Dk. Brown
Completion; Brown
Assigned; Thos. Aspinall, Sydney
Remarks; Allowed to remain in the District of Bathurst

1833 - 1 Dec. Ticket of Leave. 33/942.

Convict Changes History

Maureen Withey on 26th December, 2019 made the following changes:

convicted at, term: years, voyage, source: The Asiatic Journal and Monthly Magazine for British and Foreign .., Volume 19, May 1825. https://www.jenwilletts.com/sir_thomas_mitchell_expedition.htm (prev. ), firstname: William, surname: Muirhead, alias1:

Maureen Withey on 23rd October, 2020 made the following changes:

term: 99 years, voyage, crime

Penny-Lyn Beale on 26th March, 2021 made the following changes:

date of birth: 1802 (prev. 0000)

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