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Henry Russell

Henry Russell, one of 200 convicts transported on the Somersetshire, March 1814

Name, Aliases & Gender

Name: Henry Russell
Aliases: none
Gender: m

Birth, Occupation & Death

Date of Birth: 15th January, 1775
Occupation: Shoemaker
Date of Death: 5th July, 1838
Age: 63 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: Forgery
Convicted at: Oxford Assizes
Sentence term: Life
Ship: Somersetshire
Departure date: March, 1814
Arrival date: 16th October, 1814
Place of arrival New South Wales
Passenger manifest Travelled with 200 other convicts


Primary source: Australian Joint Copying Project. Microfilm Roll 87, Class and Piece Number HO11/2, Page Number 160
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

Denis Pember on 16th March, 2017 wrote:

On 3 Mar 1809 at Oxfordshire Lent Assizes, Henry was convicted of forgery and sentenced to death.  He had been charged along with two other people, his wife and Benjamin Cleaver. Cleaver was to be removed to Warwick, and Mary Russell was discharged.  Henry had evidently forged several £1 notes and it was not a first conviction.  Henry’s sentence was reprieved to Transportation for Life. 
He remained in Oxford Castle for quite a long period and was then Transported on “Somersetshire”, which left England in March 1814.
Henry’s wife, Mary and daughter Hannah soon thereafter followed and arrived in the colony on board “Northampton” in 1815.
Mary, as a free settler, was granted 50 acres of land in the present New Farm Road area (West Pennant Hills). This was in accord with official policy to grant land to free-born wives and have the convict husbands assigned as farm labourers. The ‘Sydney Argus’ of 15 Oct 1831 reported that Governor Macquarie had promised the land on 10 Oct 1818. However, it was not finally registered until 27 November 1837.

Denis Pember on 16th March, 2017 wrote:

Henry purchased several blocks of land, adjacent to his wife’s grant and in 1825 Henry wrote a petition to the Governor, and told how his wife Mary and daughter came free in 1815, and how he in 1818, was indulged by his Excellency Governor Macquarie with a ticket of leave, which he still held, a circumstance he humbly trusted would carry with itself a recommendation to the Governor. He told the Governor that for the last eight years, he had rented a farm from the Rev. Mr. Marsden in the District of Field of Mars; from the profits of which he had realised, by economy and industry, 20 head of horned cattle, three horses and a flock of sheep, but in consequence of being unfortunately still under sentence of the law, was deprived of many advantages approximating to persons possessing such property. He continued by saying that it had been 16 years since sentence was passed on him and that during that time he had an unblemished character. The petition was accompanied by a Testimonial from Marsden. Governor Daling granted the conditional pardon in May 1826.

Denis Pember on 16th March, 2017 wrote:

Sainty & Johnson; 1828 Census of New South Wales:
Page 326….
[Ref R1601] Russell, Henry, 60, CP, Somersetshire, 1813, L, Settler, Castle Hill.  150 acres, 30 cleared and cultivated, 5 horses, 40 cattle.
[Ref R1602] Russell, Mary, 58, CF, Northampton 1815.

Also the daughter Hannah and her family, including husband Thomas Thompson (Convict, 1815, “Indefatigable”) were recorded.
Page 365….
[Ref T0440] Thompson, Thomas, 35, FS, Indefatigable, 1815, Settler, Castle Hill. 50 acres, 8 cleared and cultivated, 2 horses, 12 cattle.
[Ref T0441] Thompson, Hannah, 27, CF, Northampton, 1815.
[Ref T0442] Thompson, Mary Ann, 7, born in colony.
[Ref T0443] Thompson, Ruth, 5, born in colony.
[Ref T0444] Thompson, Eleanor, 4 born in colony.
[Ref T0445] Thompson, Rachael, 1 born in colony.

Denis Pember on 16th March, 2017 wrote:

The Sydney Morning Herald of Jul 11, 1838 reported on the Coroner’s Inquest:
‘An inquest was held on Wednesday last on the body of Mr Henry Russell, a retired timber merchant, who was returning home along the Pennant Hills Road in a light cart when, owing to the darkness of the night, he drove against some obstruction in the road; the shock was so violent that he was thrown out and fell on the ground and the wheels passed over his head. He was shortly afterwards lying in the road quite dead, his skull being fractured’.

Convict Changes History

Ian Noble on 14th February, 2015 made the following changes:

date of birth: 15th January, 1775 (prev. 0000), date of death: 5th July, 1838 (prev. 0000), crime

Keith South on 14th February, 2015 made the following changes:


Keith South on 14th February, 2015 made the following changes:

gender: m

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