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Elizabeth Shackle

Elizabeth Shackle, one of 99 convicts transported on the Speke, March 1808

Name, Aliases & Gender

Name: Elizabeth Shackle
Aliases: Elizabeth Sheckle, Elizabeth Sheckell
Gender: f

Birth, Occupation & Death

Date of Birth: 1782
Occupation: Twine spinner
Date of Death: 1st October, 1842
Age: 60 years

Life Span

Life span

Female median life span was 61 years*

* Median life span based on contributions

Conviction & Transportation

Sentence Severity

Sentence Severity

Sentenced to 7 years

Crime: Stealing
Convicted at: Dorset Assizes
Sentence term: 7 years
Ship: Speke
Departure date: March, 1808
Arrival date: 16th November, 1808
Place of arrival New South Wales
Passenger manifest Travelled with 98 other convicts

References

Primary source: Australian Joint Copying Project. Microfilm Roll 87, Class and Piece Number HO11/1, Page Number 399 (199)
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

Malcolm Scanes, V.president, Chalker/charker Society Of Australia on 27th June, 2012 wrote:

Elizabeth Shackle was born in the village of North Perrott, Somerset, England. She was the eldest of eight known children of Joseph Shackle, an unemployed labourer, and his wife Elizabeth. In February 1800,the younger Elizabeth gave birth to a son Robert, father unknown,and soon after walked to the nearby Dorset town of Bridport where she obtained work as a twine spinner. It is not known what became of Robert but while at Bridport she gave birth to another son, Daniel, on 9th February 1806.

Now unemployed and with a child to support, she turned to theft. She was caught stealing a quantity of muslin and calico from a Bridport drapery shop and was arrested on 29th October 1806. She was held in Dorchester Gaol before being tried at the Dorset Assizes on 12th March 1807. She was found guilty of stealing, convicted of Grand Larceny and sentenced to be "transported beyond the seas for a term of seven years". She was returned to prison to await transportation. Seven months later she was taken,along with Daniel,to Portsmouth where, on 16th February 1808, they were placed on board the ship "Speke". Elizabeth became one of the 98 female prisoners bound for Port Jackson. In March the "Speke" sailed to Falmouth and then to Sydney where it arrived on 16th November,1808.

On arrival, the women were immediately placd on boats and taken upriver to the Female Factory at Parramatta. Shortly after her arrival there,Elizabeth was selected by William Charker(Coromandel, 1802)and was assigned to him to become his "hut keeper". Although they never married, Elizabeth assumed the name and role of Mrs Chalker (William’s commonly used alias) from that time and Daniel also assumed the name of Chalker from that time. Their first child, Edward, was born on 10th September 1809 at South Creek where William was employed as Farm Overseer to Gregory Blaxland. Other children were William James (1810), Maria (1811), Joseph Henry (1813), John (1815), James (1817) Mary Ann (1818) and George (1821). Frederick (1825) was born two years after William’s death but was known as Chalker. Edward and his older half-brother Daniel, incidentally, achieved fame in the colony as bare-knuckle fighters.

When William died prematurely in February 1823 at the age of forty eight years, Elizabeth was left to raise her large and young family alone. However, since his emancipation in 1808, William had become a substantial landowner, and all of this was bequeathed to Elizabeth during her lifetime and then to be divided among her children, thus including Daniel. Also, Elizabeth received an additional grant of 200 acres of land at Mittagong which had been requested by William before his death. Elizabeth died without a Will at South Creek on 1st October 1842, aged 60 years. The provisions of William’s Will ensured that all of her nine children received a substantial bequest of land. This did not include Frederick. Elizabeth was buried at St Johns Cemetery Parramatta alongside William where her headstone records her name as Elizabeth Sheekle.

Paul Curran on 1st October, 2014 wrote:

Elizabeth Shackle was born in the village of North Perrott, Somerset, England in 1782. She was the eldest of eight known children of Joseph Shackle, an unemployed labourer, and his wife Elizabeth. In February 1800, the younger Elizabeth gave birth to a son Robert, father unknown, and soon after walked to the nearby Dorset town of Bridport where she obtained work as a twine spinner. It is not known what became of Robert but while at Bridport she gave birth to a second son, Daniel, on 9 th February, 1806.

Now unemployed and with a child to support she turned to theft. She was caught stealing a quantity of muslin and calico from the Bridport drapery shop of Edwin Wagstaff and was arrested on 29 th October, 1806. She was held in Dorchester Gaol before being tried at the Dorset Assizes on 12 th March, 1807. She was found guilty of stealing; convicted of Grand Larceny and sentenced to be “transported beyond the seas for a term of seven years”. She was returned to prison to await transportation. Seven months later she was taken, along with Daniel, to Portsmouth where, on 16 th February 1808, they were placed aboard the ship Speke. Elizabeth became one of the 97 female prisoners bound for Port Jackson. In March the Speke sailed to Falmouth to join a fleet which left on 18 th May, 1808 and arrived at Sydney on 16 th November, 1808 after a voyage of 185 days.

They were immediately placed in boats and taken upriver to the Female Factory at Parramatta. Within days of her arrival there, she was selected by William Charker (Coromandel, 1802 and was assigned to him to become his “hut keeper”. Although they never married, Elizabeth assumed the name and role of Mrs Chalker (William’s commonly used alias) from that time. Their first child, Edward, was born on 10th September, 1809 at South Creek where William was employed as Farm Overseer for Gregory Blaxland. Other children were William James (1810), Maria (1811) Joseph Henry (1813), John (1815), James (1817), Mary Ann (1818) and George (1821). Frederick (1825) was born two years after William died but was known as Chalker. Edward and his older half-brother Daniel, incidentally, achieved fame in the colony as bare-knuckle fighters.

When William died prematurely in February, 1823 at the age of forty eight years, Elizabeth was left to raise her young and large family alone. However, since his emancipation in 1808, William had become a substantial landowner and all of this was bequeathed to Elizabeth during her lifetime, then to be divided among her children, thus including Daniel. In addition, Elizabeth received an additional grant of 200 acres of land at Mittagong which had been requested by William before his death. Edward McCabe who had been working for William and replaced him after his retirement, sought and was granted permission to marry Elizabeth in August 1823, but the marriage did not take place. Instead she retained full control of William’s estate to bequeath to her children. However, she did give birth to another child baptised on 27 th October, 1825 as Frederick Chalker but with Edward McCabe acknowledged as the father. Elizabeth died without a Will at South Creek on 1 st October, 1842, aged 60 years. The provisions of William’s Will ensured that all of her nine children received a substantial bequest of land. This did not include Frederick . Elizabeth was buried at Parramatta alongside William, where her headstone records her name as Elizabeth Sheekle.

Compiled and written by Malcolm Scanes Vice President, Chalker/Charker Society of Australia.

Convict Changes History

Malcolm Scanes, V.president, Chalker/charker Society Of Australia on 27th June, 2012 made the following changes:

date of death 1842-10-01, gender f

Paul Curran on 1st October, 2014 made the following changes:

alias1: Elizabeth Sheckle, alias2: Elizabeth Sheckell, date of birth: 1782 (prev. 0000)

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