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Christopher Russell

Christopher Russell, one of 230 convicts transported on the Roslin Castle, 22 May 1834

Name, Aliases & Gender

Name: Christopher Russell
Aliases: none
Gender: m

Birth, Occupation & Death

Date of Birth: 22nd December, 1807
Occupation: Labourer
Date of Death: 1875
Age: 67 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 14 years

Crime: Assault and theft
Convicted at: Chester Quarter Session
Sentence term: 14 years
Ship: Roslin Castle (Roslyn Castle)
Departure date: 22nd May, 1834
Arrival date: 15th September, 1834
Place of arrival New South Wales
Passenger manifest Travelled with 233 other convicts


Primary source: Australian Joint Copying Project. Microfilm Roll 90, Class and Piece Number HO11/9, Page Number 351 (177)
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

Dennis Nightingale on 11th April, 2015 wrote:

Born - Dublin Ireland. Single.

Dennis Nightingale on 12th April, 2015 wrote:

Sent to Norfolk Island.

D Wong on 12th April, 2015 wrote:

5/11/1839: Tried at Campbelltown QS for killing cattle – 10 years.
Sent to Norfolk Island.

26/7/1845: Arrived VDL per ‘Governor Phillip’.

He was then described as: 31 years old, 5’0 ¼” tall, fresh complexion, red hair and whiskers, blue eyes, small scar on top of forehead, arms freckled, slightly pockpitted, Roman Catholic, could read and write, native place: Dublin.

6/2/1846: Emerged from gang.
20/10/1846: TOL

Then apparently went to Victoria and met and married Mary ???? in 1858 (there is no record of a marriage in VDL) and had 13 children.

The following seems to be an account of his death:

22/7/1875 The McIvor Times and Rodney Advertiser (Heathcote, Vic. : 1863 - 1918)

CORONER’S INQUEST. An inquest was held by the District Coroner, J. G. Taylor Esq., at the Shamrock Hotel on Saturday last, touching the death of Christotphter Russell, who was injured by the limb of a tree falling on him on the Tuesday night previous. 

The following depositions were taken:Mary Russell, sworn, deposed:  I am the wife of the deceased, Christopher Russel , and reside at North Muckleford, near Castlemaine. 
I have seen the body of deceased.
He left home four days after Christmas and I never saw or heard of him until the present time.

We were married 16 years last Christmas, in Melbourne.  I have 5 children living; I had 13 altogether. I have nothing at all to support, those living;  The oldest, will be 15 in January.  I owe for food for the last five months.  My husband went away in search of work.  He was 67 years old three days before last Christmas.  He was a native of West Meath, Ireland, but was brought up in Cheshire, England. I attended here at the instance of the police.

To a juryman-I never received any money from my husband since he left.

Francis Thynne, sworn: I am a Constable, stationed at Graytown.  On Wednesday, the 14th inst., on the arrival of the Seymour coach at Graytown, my attention was called to a person lying in the coach, who had been picked up on the road, as having received injuries from the falling of a limb of a tree under which he had been camped the night before, and which he had set fire to.

I had the man removed from the coach into Mr Oddy’s hotel, and placed on a mattress.  The man could not walk or sit upright, but I had noticed him move his legs slightly, and his arms and the upper part of his body quite freely.  He complained of much pain across the loins.  He was quite conscious and informed me that the encamped at the foot of the tree about 5 o’clock on the evening previous, and made a fire there, and as near as he could judge about half-past 11 o’clock, when sitting at this fire, in a half dosing state, an overhanging limb of the tree, which had caught fire, came down with a crash across his shoulders.

He said that he managed to get from under the branch but was unable to get away from near the log, where he was found the next day.  The limb was about a foot in diameter.  He said he made as much noise as he could to attract the attention of the driver of the coach, which would pass within about 20 yards from where he lay.  That he remained there till the driver and two passengers assisted to put him in the coach. 

Although he received the blow across the shoulders he said he felt more pain across his loins.
He said he thought he would not get over this, as he was too old, and informed me of his age and his country.  He said he was 67 years of age 3 days before last Christmas;  that he was a native of West Meath, Ireland; and that he was a Roman Catholic.  That he had a wife and family at North Muckleford near Castlemaine.  He had two blankets rolled into a swag and £1.2.6d which he gave me, saying it was all the property he had. 

The story goes on to say that he was taken to Heathcote for the doctor and hospital but he was already dead for and hour or two when they arrived there.

He had severe internal injury of some of the organs of the abdomen but his back was not broken.

The money he had in his possession was ordered to be given to his widow, it being supplemented by contributions from several of those present at the inquest, together with an amount from the poor box.

Convict Changes History

Dennis Nightingale on 11th April, 2015 made the following changes:

date of birth: 1813 (prev. 0000), gender: m, occupation, crime

D Wong on 12th April, 2015 made the following changes:

date of birth: 22nd December, 1807 (prev. 1813), date of death: 1875 (prev. 0000)

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