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Charles Nightingale

Charles Nightingale, one of 200 convicts transported on the Earl Spencer, May 1813

Name, Aliases & Gender

Name: Charles Nightingale
Aliases: none
Gender: m

Birth, Occupation & Death

Date of Birth: 1796
Occupation: Carver of wood
Date of Death: 1860
Age: 64 years

Life Span

Life span

Male median life span was 57 years*

* Median life span based on contributions

Conviction & Transportation

Sentence Severity

Sentence Severity

Sentenced to Life

Crime: Uttering forged notes
Convicted at: Oxford Assizes
Sentence term: Life
Ship: Earl Spencer
Departure date: May, 1813
Arrival date: 9th October, 1813
Place of arrival New South Wales
Passenger manifest Travelled with 199 other convicts


Primary source: Australian Joint Copying Project. Microfilm Roll 87, Class and Piece Number HO11/2, Page Number 99 (51)
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

Phil Hands on 3rd May, 2017 wrote:

Tried and convicted at the Oxford Assizes on 8th July 1812 for uttering a forged note of the Windsor and Berkshire Bank for 5 Pounds, with intent to defraud John Bartlett, of Chippingnorton, he was sentenced to death, this was later commuted to transportation for life.
Left England on 2nd June 1813.
Ship:- the ‘Earl Spencer’ sailed with 200 male convicts on board of which 4 died during the voyage.
Arrived on 9th October 1813.

Charles Nightingale, a chair carver by profession, arrived in the colony of NSW in 1813 as a convict and received his pardon in 1836. He married Rebecca Wright (daughter of convict Mary Wright, ‘Speke I’ 1808) in 1826 at Sydney, they had 7 children between 1826-1849, six sons and a daughter.
After the death of Rebecca in 1853, Charles married Sarah Vaughan in the following year.

Sydney Morning Herald Saturday 13th May 1854 p. 5
At the Centenary Chapel, York-street, on the 10th instant, Mr. Charles Nightingale, sen., of Strawberry-hill, to Sarah, relict of the late Wm. Vaughan, Esq., for forty-four years officer in her Majesty’s Customs, Bristol, England.

He became a house and land agent and, in such a role, was a collector of rents to which he added the role of collector of money for charity. In 1837, he was appointed a collector for the Auxiliary of the Bible Society, the Benevolent Society, the Mechanics Institute, the Religious Tract and Book Society and the Sydney Dispensary. It appears that Charles was a very energetic and successful collector of subscriptions and donations and continued to be so until the mid-1850s. He was the dominant collector during this period and added to his list of clients Sydney College, the Sydney Female Refuge Society and the Bethel Union, but charity collection was probably not his main source of income. His work as a land and house agent continued and his income must have been considerable as he managed to accumulate, by the time of his death in 1860, a substantial holding of property in and around Sydney.
By 1855, Charles was becoming less productive as a charity collector and though he ‘had for many years acted faithfully and energetically, he had, through old age been compelled to resign’ his post as Collector in his various charities. His brother Cornelius took on the role, but was clearly less effective and motivated and ‘had not been so persevering’ in the work for the income to the charities continued to fall. To compound the issue, Cornelius was in some financial difficulty and began to utilise the funds he collected for his personal use as he said the commission of five percent that he received was inadequate to support his family and ‘keep the wolf from the door’. Needless to say he was removed as a collector from the various charities, and his brother was clearly unimpressed with Cornelius’ dishonesty and lack of energy. In his will, drawn up shortly after the event with his brother, Charles left his brother £100 and gave instructions depriving Cornelius of the bequest if he would not vacate a house owned by Charles. It is notable that, although Charles collected for many charities throughout his life, he left no bequests to any charitable body.

Convict Changes History

Phil Hands on 3rd May, 2017 made the following changes:

date of birth: 1796 (prev. 0000), date of death: 1860 (prev. 0000), gender: m, occupation, crime

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