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Michael Power

** community contributed record **

Name, Aliases & Gender

Name: Michael Power
Aliases: Poor
Gender: -

Birth, Occupation & Death

Date of Birth: 1788
Occupation: Farm labourer
Date of Death: 1854
Age: 66 years

Life Span

Life span

Median life span was 61 years*

* Median life span based on contributions

Conviction & Transportation

Sentence Severity

Sentence Severity

Sentenced to 7 years

Crime: House robbery
Convicted at: Waterford Ireland
Sentence term: 7 years
Ship: Providence
Departure date: 10th December, 1810
Arrival date: 2nd July, 1811
Place of arrival New South Wales
Passenger manifest Travelled with 83 other convicts


Primary source: NSW State Records Convict indents and musters, Colonial Secretary records, 1828 Census. Freemans Journal 16 August 1810.p 3 and Belfast Newsletter 24 August 1810 p.3. Sydney Gazette, 24 Feb 1838.
Source description:

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Community Contributions

Robin Sharkey on 5th February, 2014 wrote:

Summary: tried 11 August 1810 for attacking a house and robbing it 6 June 1810, guilty of demanding money with intent, 7 years transportation on “Providence” 1.  After the crime, the Caravats had assaulted them for daring to carry out the robbery; they were NOT Caravats.
* 30 acre land grant at Wilberforce 1821, raised cattle, stayed there farming all his life
* was always financially “comfortable” as he described it,
* married Elizabeth Adams/Stafford about 1826, 2 children, only one survived
* marriage had ups and downs and she tried to leave in 1837 after domestic violence, but possibly they stayed together.
* he died at Wilberforce in 1854.

Michael Power, actually aged about 22, was tried and sentenced at the WATERFORD ASSIZES on Saturday 11th August 1810, together with co-accused THOMAS GREANY, “for having, on the 6th June last, feloniously attacked, in arms, the house of John Magrath at Knockane [ in southern Waterford] entering the same, demanding money and for beating and assaulting the said John Magrath.”
* They were acquitted of robbery; but found GUILTY of feloniously demanding money with intent to rob
* Both men sentenced to transportation for Life; departed “Providence” Convict ship on 10 December 1810.
* [see Freemans Journal 16 August 1810 page 3, and Belfast Newsletter 24 August 1810. page 4.

* Both young men had worked for about 8 days leading up to the the crime, for a farmer named Edmond Rocket who lived about a quarter of a mile from Magraths’ house at Knockane, Co Waterford. They slept in the barn, sometimes sat up together talking before they went to bed. A third man, named Mulcahy, also lived in the barn. The morning after the attack on Magraths’ house Rocket had some difficulty getting them up at the usual time of 6am but it was unusual for them to lie in after 6am as they did that morning.

The night before, shortly before daybreak but when it was not yet light, three armed men had burst into Magrath’s house, (he had a wife and one daughter). The maid named Catherine Power, who was related to Magrath’s wife, slept in the kitchen and was woken by them. They demanded money of Magrath, took him outside the house where they tied him to a chair and for about two hours beat him about.  Catherine Power identified “the boy” who held the blunderbuss and kept it against Magrath as Michael Power. (So he could not have been as old as 28 as recorded on the ship’s indent).

Either the night following the attack or another night shortly after that (newspaper reports were not specific) Power & Greany were captured by the Caravats and maltreated for their having attacked the house of Magrath. They were taken to their own employer’s house with no trousers on wearing nothing but their shirts and jackets, attended by about “a score of people”.  This evidence was given by John Rocket, son of their employer. They had Rocket get up out of bed and let them in and get a rope and then they tied up the two prisoners, and gave Rocket a blunderbuss to guard them, telling him to go to Portlaw the next morning to give the prisoners and the blunderbuss up.  It is implied these people were Caravats.  When they left the two prisoners desired John Rocket to throw the blunderbuss over the hedge and let them go saying their blood would be upon the Rockets but Edmond Rocket refused and continued to guard them as requested by the Caravats until the morning when he sent his son John to Portlaw for the guard

The Rocket son gave evidence that he had heard that Thomas Greany was hated by the Caravats who had driven Greany from his own place and might have had an old spite against him. He was scornful of the pair because he said although he would be afraid if Caravats did that to him, especially if he was guilty of the crime they claimed, but he wouldn’t ask to be let go.  He believed also that the Mulcahy, the third person in the barn, was afraid of the Caravats and had run away.

Sixteen years later, Edmond Rocket was recorded In the 1827 tithe applotment books, with land at Carrickbeg.  There were still two Greanys living on small 2 acre plots in that area of Waterford, and McGraths were numerous all over Waterford, however the Power Family was the most numerous in most parishes of Waterford.


1814 Muster - incorrectly written as “Poor”.  Assigned to James Mileham, off stores, mustered Parramatta. Another Providence convict, called James Gallagan of Tipperary was also with Mileham in 1814. 
* Since Gallagan had been transported for “taking firearms” it’s likely he had been part of a band of Caravats (big in Tipperary) or similar-minded men, & would not have regarded Power well if he’d known that Power had been punished by Caravats.

Musters of 1816, 1817, 1818 - Servant to John Blaxland, brother of Gregory, had a 1,300 acre land grant called “Newington” at Silverwater, west of Homebush on the Parramatta River.  He had many many convicts, raised cattle and had a large saltworks operating. After 1812 he was granted further acreage on the Nepean River - the Musters do not specify which property Michael Power worked on.

* 1817- August - Became Free.
* 1820- 30 June Petition- had been free “upwards of four years” and conducted himself … the next page is missing!  However on the first page, Macquarie has scrawled “30 acres”
* 1821 -  12 May, Sydney Gazette - on list of settlers, as “Mich. Power” who were to have grants of land in the year 1821.
* 1821 MUSTER - Labourer
* 1822 MUSTER -  Landholder, Windsor.  LEASE resident - 21 acres, all cleared & cultivated, 9 horned cattle, 65 hogs (this may actually have been before his land grant)
* 1823 MUSTR -ELIZABETH ADAMS lived with Michael Power a Wilberforce.

* No marriage record found.
* In a court case in February 1838 Power stated that he and Elizabeth had been living together for 18 years [i.e. since 1820] and married for 11 years [i.e since 1826 or 1827].
* Elizabeth was Born in the Colony. Since she admitted to being 33 yrs in 1828 assume born at least in 1795.  She may have been a child on Norfolk Island and removed to Tasmania with her family as many people were sent there from N.I.
* She was probably married before, as she appears under two names AND in 1838 court case reference was made to her wanting to go to Port Dalrymple, Tasmania, to visit her children. Possibly her maiden name was Stafford as this appeared more frequently and on the baptism record for her son to Michael Power.
* Michael and Elizabeth’s marriage produced only two children.
1838 evidence states that one died and one was alive. 
A girl called Elizabeth Stafford aged 13 in 1828 Census was not the daughter of Michael Power since she would have been born in 1815 before Michael and Elizabeth got together.
a boy called Michael was born in 1829. This is the only registered child.

* 1824, 30 December Sydney Gazette - to deliver 60 lb of wheat at Windsor for government stores

* 1825 MUSTER Landholder, Wilberforce Free by Servitude. Living with Elizabeth Stafford.

* 1827 - Michael Power written as “POOR” was baptism sponsor of child Phillip Farrel Flood at his baptism on 6 July 1827. This is child of Pat & Mary Flood (nee Donovan) who were married in 1823 and lived at Wilberforce.  Friends of Powers’ - Pat arrived in 1819 on ‘Tyne’; had been a farmer’s man from Powerscourt (Wicklow)  and by 1823 was Fby S.  In 1828 was 35 y.o. with Mary aged 30 at Windsor and two children but neither named Phillip.

1828 CENSUS - Michael aged 40 years, Catholic Fby S, Wilberforce. Wife Elizabeth aged 33 BC. Also Elizabeth Stafford aged 13 - this must be the daughter of the wife …
* 99 head of cattle, 6 horses and 58 acres all cleared and cultivated.  No other children mentioned.

Employees: Convict Michael Power aged 37, Catholic Earl St Vincent 1818 Life
  Convict Michael Green, 25, Prot, Countess Harcourt 1824, 7 yrs
  Employee William Hutsel, 32 yrs, Catholic, FbyS oer Shipley 1818 7yrs, labrr
  EmployeeFrancis Lord, 22 yrs, Prot FbyS per Earl St Vincent 1820, 7 yrs labr

1829 - son called Michael Power born and baptised on 19 Nov 1829. Mother Elizabeth Stafford and Michael Power. Sponsor was Michael Rafter and Mary Moloney. Michael Rafter was Michael Power’s good friend who he had described in 1838 court case as his “Gossip” an old Middle English term for one’s close friend (and where the word meaning to gossip comes from).

1829 17 Sept, Michael Power & Elizabeth Stafford both were sponsors at the baptism of baby Elizabeth Moore, daughter of Edward Moore (died Windsor 1960) and Mary Connolly.

1833 -34 - Correspondence with Government regarding Land .. possibly increased his holding?

1838, 24th February , Sydney Gazette
Report of trial of Benjamin Hodghen late Chief Constable of Windsor and daughter Ann Paton charged with conspiring to defraud Michael Power of a large sum of money.  This trial went from 8:30am unit after midnight and the court room was full of interested spectators from Windsor and environs.

* In November 1837 Elizabeth Power, then aged 42, had attempted to run away from her marriage to Michael, and go to Tasmania to visit her children who lived there. There was at least a daughter in Launceston (Port Dalrymple).
* She and Michael had some time before “Taken charge” of a little orphan named Bridget (Biddy) Walsh who was then 11 years old and who Elizabeth took with her.
* She said the reason she did this was because Michael Power had ill used her badly a few days before; the worst he had done to her. She said “My husband is a very passionate man and he beats me sometimes. He never beat me as much as he did a little before [all] this [happened.”
* Requiring money, she broke open his safe box and took with her £500. The money had mostly come from recent sale of cattle to James Conolly and sale of cattle to a Sydney butcher.
* She first stayed in the inn of Mr Coffey in Windsor and then the home of Michael’s friend Michael Rafter.  and then the home of Ben Hodghen when she heard Michael had come looking for her.  Michael sent others out looking for her and went looking for her himself. She was found on a warrant that Michael had instigated for stealing the money but on eth way from the Court to the Watch-house little Biddy gave her the money from Rafter’s house where it had been hidden.
* Hodghen saw this and she gave him the money for safekeeping with the promise that she would give him a handsome payment for looking after it for her; so he took her to his house instead, hid the money and they had tea and brandy before taking her to the Windsor lock-up. 
* Next morning Hodghen again took her to his house until the magistrates court sat.
There the charge was dismissed by the magistrate on the ground that a wife could not rob her husband.  She went back to her home with Michael, whereupon he beat her “in a most unmerciful manner” and she had to stay in bed for two days.
* She then went to Hodghens’ again where the wife nursed her, hiding her for a week. Leaving for Tasmania on the mail coach arranged by Ben Hodghen, she became too ashamed of her beaten-up face and stopped at Parramatta, where Michael came looking for her and found her again.
* She left again to hide in the city, then back to Windsor and after re-gaining the money from Hodghen she finally left for Tasmania via Sydney town - again arranged by Hodghen and his daughter, but there discovered a huge short fall in the sum, it amounting to only about £80.
* She returned to Windsor where Hodghen failed to give her more money, and she went to the Police Magistrate over the theft and he was charged, together with his adult daughter Ann Paton.
* The case is interesting for showing that Michael Power, despite being a reasonably successful Hawkesbury farmer, who had had cattle “these last twenty years” he felt the need to scold and beat his wife.  His own view of his life with Elizabeth:  : “… we were always very comfortable”….  “Scolding is nothing between man and wife” … “I have often struck her, but that is nothing between man and wife”
* It also specifies the time they had been together (18 years), married (11 years), that there was one child alive and another not survived; and that Elizabeth obviously had another child or children from an earlier relationship.
* It also records that Michael Power had some time earlier been charged with cattle stealing but they were his own cattle and he had been ‘honorably acquitted” of cattle stealing.

* The Sydney Gazette on 22 Feb 1838 remarked that Hodghen was a “reputed bad character but was reckoned an active officer and had held the post of Chief Constable at Windsor for many years.”
* Hodghen and Ann Paton were both sent to Newcastle Gaol for two years and Hosghen had to pay a fine of £500 and remain imprisoned until it was paid.

6 August 1840 ‘The Colonist’:  List of subscriptions paid towards building a Presbyterian Church at Windsor - Michael Power 10 shllings

The POWER Household was a large one in the 1841 Census.  There was no evidence that young Biddy Walsh still lived with them.
* There were 7 men and 2 women in Michael Power’s household. The two women were married, and only two of the men were married.
* One woman and one man were aged 42 - 60 years. One woman was Born in the Colony and one man had become free.  These two fit the description of Michael ad Elizabeth Power.  One boy was aged from 7 -12 years, would have been the BC son, Michael Power, aged 12.

* This left 5 single males, and one male married - presumably married to the other married woman who was aged 21 - 41 years.
One boy was aged 14 - 21 years, another two men were between 21 and 41 years, and one man was aged over 60 years. Of these men, three were BC, one was Ticket of Leave (perhaps the old one?) and two arrived free.
* 6 were Catholics, one was Church of England and two were Church of Scotland (perhaps the other married couple).
* Apart from Michael Power the landed prop and the two women, 2 were “mechanics & Artificers”, and 4 men were employed in Agriculture

DEATH - St Matthews Catholic Church Windsor Burial Register:
MICHAEL POWER Abode: WILBERFORCE Buried: 24 March 1854 Age: 63

Convict Changes History

Robin Sharkey on 5th February, 2014 made the following changes:

convicted at, term: 7 years, voyage, source: NSW State Records Convict indents and musters, Colonial Secretary records, 1828 Census. Freemans Journal 16 August 1810.p 3 and Belfast Newsletter 24 August 1810 p.3. Sydney Gazette, 24 Feb 1838. (prev. ), firs

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