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George Smith

George Smith, one of 270 convicts transported on the Nile, 18 September 1857

Name, Aliases & Gender

Name: George Smith
Aliases: none
Gender: m

Birth, Occupation & Death

Date of Birth: 1834
Occupation: Gunsmith
Date of Death: -
Age: -

Life Span

Life span

Male median life span was 51 years*

* Median life span based on contributions

Conviction & Transportation

Sentence Severity

Sentence Severity

Sentenced to 15 years

Crime: Robbery with violence
Convicted at: Warwick Assizes
Sentence term: 15 years
Ship: Nile
Departure date: 18th September, 1857
Arrival date: 1st January, 1858
Place of arrival Western Australia
Passenger manifest Travelled with 270 other convicts

References

Primary source: Australian Joint Copying Project. Microfilm Roll 93, Class and Piece Number HO11/18, Page Number 246
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

Dianne Jones on 17th January, 2022 wrote:

COMMITTAL:

6 August, 1855: He was committed at Birmingham to stand trial.

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Dianne Jones on 17th January, 2022 wrote:

TRIAL:

13 December, 1855: George Smith was tried at the Special Gaol Delivery Sessions, Warwick, and convicted of robbery using violence; sentenced to transportation for 15 years. He had a previous conviction for stealing a shawl, with a jail term of 8 months (England & Wales, Criminal Registers, 1791-1892; England; Warwickshire; 1855).

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Dianne Jones on 17th January, 2022 wrote:

Newspaper reports referred to George Smith and two unidentified accomplices’ “Daring attempt at street robbery at Birmingham” on the 5 August.  (Coventry Times, Wednesday 19 December 1855, pp9,10).

From ‘The Times’, December 15, 1855, p.9:

“Midland Circuit, Warwick, December 14

George Smith was indicted for assaulting and robbing George Mitchell.

Mr Spooner prosecuted.

It appeared that the prisoner, on the 5th of August last, had met the prosecutor in Birmingham, and when the latter inquired his way to a certain part of town which the named prisoner offered to conduct him thither. On the way the prisoner suddenly put his arm round the prosecutor’s throat, so as partially to suffocate him and to prevent him from calling out. The prosecutor was immediately approached by two other men, who rifled his pockets; and then all ran off.

The prosecutor cried ‘Murder!’ and, as the prisoner was running away, he was met by a policeman who had been attracted by the cry. As soon as the prisoner saw the policeman he stopped running; he was at once apprehended; and though the prosecutor in his confusion was at first doubtful whether the prisoner was the man who had assaulted him, he almost immediately afterwards identified him.

The jury found the prisoner Guilty, and he was sentenced to 15 years transportation.

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Dianne Jones on 17th January, 2022 wrote:

JAILS:

8 August, 1855: Admitted to Warwick House of Correction; served 2 months 24 days in association with other prisoners. Behaviour “indifferent”.

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Dianne Jones on 17th January, 2022 wrote:

25 February, 1856: Admitted to Leicester County Gaol and House of Correction, Welford Road (near the junction of Lutterworth and Welford roads), Leicester; served 12 months 21 days in separate confinement, behaviour “very good”.

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Dianne Jones on 17th January, 2022 wrote:

18 March, 1857: Admitted to Portland Gaol, inmate #6874; 21 years old (when convicted), gun finisher, literate, widower, Protestant; next of kin—his mother, Mrs Hines, Kenyon Street, Birmingham. Behaviour “very good” (UK, Prison Commission Records, 1770-1951; Portland Prison; Prison Records; 1870-1875).

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Dianne Jones on 17th January, 2022 wrote:

10 September, 1857: Sent from Portland to board the Nile for transportation to WA; prisoner #39/6874 (Western Australia, Australia, Convict Records, 1846-1930; Convict Department, Registers; Convicts Transported Per Nile (R32)).

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Dianne Jones on 17th January, 2022 wrote:

On arrival in WA, he was listed as: Smith, George—#4546, 23, gun finisher, widower no children; 5’1”, sandy hair, grey eyes, oval face, fresh complexion, middling stout build, burn on left arm, “Elizabeth” in a wreath on left arm (http://www.perthdps.com/convicts/conwad21.htm).

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Dianne Jones on 17th January, 2022 wrote:

IN WA:

From his Fremantle jail record:

SMITH, George; inmate #4546, arrived 1 Jan 1858 per Nile
Date of Birth: 1835
Marital Status: Widower
Occupation: Gun finisher
Literacy: Literate

Sentence Place: Warwick, Warwick, England
Crime: Robbery with violence
Sentence Period: 15 years

Ticket of Leave Date: 27 Oct 1859
Conditional Pardon Date: 17 Dec 1862
Certificate of Freedom Date: 11 Jan 1871

Comments: Self-employed, 1861 (https://fremantleprison.com.au/).

Dianne Jones on 17th January, 2022 wrote:

Footnote:

Gun finishing is one of the more important specialisations of gunsmiths.

A finisher applies various chemical processes (browning, bluing, Parkerization, among others) to the metal parts of guns to develop corrosion resistant surface layers on the steel (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gunsmith).

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Convict Changes History

Dianne Jones on 16th January, 2022 made the following changes:

gender: m

Dianne Jones on 16th January, 2022 made the following changes:

crime

Dianne Jones on 17th January, 2022 made the following changes:

date of birth: 1834 (prev. 0000)

Dianne Jones on 17th January, 2022 made the following changes:

occupation

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