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Joseph Shepherd

Joseph Shepherd, one of 160 convicts transported on the Guildford, 22 August 1823

Name, Aliases & Gender

Name: Joseph Shepherd
Aliases: none
Gender: m

Birth, Occupation & Death

Date of Birth: 1807
Occupation: Sailor
Date of Death: 26th January, 1873
Age: 66 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 7 years

Crime: Stealing a handkerchief
Convicted at: Middlesex Gaol Delivery
Sentence term: 7 years
Ship: Guildford
Departure date: 22nd August, 1823
Arrival date: 15th March, 1824
Place of arrival New South Wales
Passenger manifest Travelled with 159 other convicts


Primary source: Australian Joint Copying Project. Microfilm Roll 88, Class and Piece Number HO11/5, Page Number 85 (44) http://www.oldbaileyonline.org, accessed 07 March 2019, trail of JOSEPH SHEPPERD, (t18220703-99)
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

Frances Wilson on 13th May, 2016 wrote:

Joseph settled in the Abercrombie area NSW (Kangaloolah Creek, married Margaret Berrell, daughter of ex convict Michael Berrell (Mangles 5 1828), and had 10 children. He was relatively successful. The area was the haunt of many bushrangers, and the Shepherds and Berrells were “acquainted” with them. They were interesting times.

Sonja Saastamoinen on 7th March, 2019 wrote:

Based on Joseph’s age at his conviction in 1822 (15 years), he was probably born in 1806-1807. He was convicted of stealing a handkerchief from Richard Potts at the Middlesex Sessions on 03/07/1822 and sentenced to 7 years’ transportation.

The trial appears under the name of Joseph “Shepherd” on http://www.oldbaileyonline.org. (t18220703-99, accessed 07/03/2019)
Transcribed as follows:

1088. JOSEPH SHEPPERD was indicted for stealing, on the 22nd of June, one handkerchief, value 2s. 6d. the goods of Richard Potts, from his person.

RICHARD POTTS. I live at Hackney. On the 22nd of June, between four and five o’clock, I was at Nortonfalgate, and felt a slight touch at my pocket - I missed my handkerchief, turned round, and saw prisoner and another boy standing close together; I laid hold of them, and saw my handkerchief drop from the prisoner’s hand; I kept him, but the other got off. He said the boy gave it him.

THOMAS VANN. I received him in charge.

Prisoner’s Defence. I saw the handkerchief on the ground, and picked it up - I pointed out the boy who did it.

GUILTY. Aged 15.

Transported for Seven Years.
First Middlesex Jury, before Mr. Common Sergeant.

The Criminal Registers for 1791-1892 on ancestry.com also indicated that he was held in Newgate prison before his trial.

Joseph was granted two certificates of freedom, the first having been misplaced.
The first was granted on 27.08.1829,
The second on 9/10/1830 (see ancestry.com for both).

Both certificates confirm his arrival in New South Wales in 1824 on the Guildford, and provide a year of birth as 1806.

The former describes him as 5 foot 7 inches tall, of fair complexion, with brown hair and grey eyes. His occupation is stated as a labourer. The second, as 5 foot 5 and 3/4 inches tall; of fair/ruddy complexion and with brown hair and blue eyes. His occupation is stated to be a sailor/labourer.

Appearing in the 1830 certificate of freedom is a note as follows:

“Deaf - scar at the outer corner of the right eye brow. Bust of a man and woman on the left arm. Flower pot mermaid on right arm.”

A few thoughts here:
1. He was only 15 when arrested. No background of his circumstances is given.
2. The only corroborative evidence given at his trial is by an arresting officer who was not present at the time of the offence. A lack of corroborative evidence would not be acceptable in a modern court. The complainant also did not see who took the handkerchief.
3. Joseph was deaf. Again no circumstances are mentioned, but this would surely have impacted on his life?
4. By the latter part of the 19th century, corroborative evidence became a legal requirement. People were also routinely fined rather than transported for like offences.

According to available public records, Joseph was assigned to John Cheers (1824); Mr Meehan (1824+) and John Hillas (Taralga district). After he was freed, Joseph went on to marry Margaret Berrell in the Abercrombie district. He purchased land at Kangaloola (Binda) and briefly held a publican’s license for the “Rose, Thistle and Shamrock” in 1853-54.

He died in 1873 and he is buried in an unmarked grave on private land at Binda (now Kenilworth station). The precise location of his grave on the property is presently unknown.

Unless otherwise shown, the above was retrieved from ancestry.com. Joseph’s burial location was sourced from Goulburn Mulwaree Library’s cemetery transcripts for the region.

Ancestry also have multiple family trees on file.

Convict Changes History

Frances Wilson on 13th May, 2016 made the following changes:

date of death: 26th January, 1873 (prev. 0000), gender: m, occupation, crime

Sonja Saastamoinen on 7th March, 2019 made the following changes:

source: Australian Joint Copying Project. Microfilm Roll 88, Class and Piece Number HO11/5, Page Number 85 (44) www.oldbaileyonline.org, accessed 07 March 2019, trail of JOSEPH SHEPPERD, (t18220703-99) (prev. Australian Joint Copying Project. Microfilm R

D Wong on 23rd April, 2020 made the following changes:

date of birth: 1807 (prev. 0000)

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