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William Joseph Thomas Snook

William Snook, one of 224 convicts transported on the Eliza, 02 February 1831

Name, Aliases & Gender

Name: William Joseph Thomas Snook
Aliases: none
Gender: m

Birth, Occupation & Death

Date of Birth: 1809
Occupation: -
Date of Death: -
Age: -

Life Span

Life span

Male median life span was 54 years*

* Median life span based on contributions

Conviction & Transportation

Sentence Severity

Sentence Severity

Sentenced to 14 years

Crime: Breaking and entering and stealing
Convicted at: Old Bailey
Sentence term: 14 years
Ship: Marquis of Hastings
Departure date: 16th March, 1839
Arrival date: 23rd July, 1839
Place of arrival Van Diemen's Land
Passenger manifest Travelled with 240 other convicts


Primary source: Old Bailey. UK Prison Hulk Register HO9/9. England & Wales Criminal Registers HO26/31, page 162. Ancestry. State Records NSW (Pardons Reel No. 790, Roll No. 1250). Australian Joint Copying Project. Microfilm Roll 89, Class and Piece Number HO11/8, Page Number 8
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

Paul Snook on 9th March, 2021 wrote:

According to the Old Bailey court proceedings, William Snook was arrested for breaking and entering the dwelling house of James Buxton at St Leonards, Shoreditch.  He stole 26 yards of linen cloth from the shop window.  At his trial he was give the death sentences aged 19 however after a plea for mercy his sentence was reduced to 14 years after transportation. Initially he was taken to the Hulks, in Portsmouth Harbour, whereafter he was transported on the good ship Marquess of Hastings to Australia.

Iris Dunne on 9th March, 2021 wrote:

Criminal Registers: aged 19, Crime Burglary, Sentence Death

Prison Hulk ship York moored at Portsmouth, Received 8 March 1825, aged 19, Offence Stealing in a Dwelling House

Conditional Pardon No. 49/304 dated 20 December 1848, aged 39, Birth Year 1809, Trade Brass Turner, Native Place Lambeth, Tried 30 January 1825 in Middlesex, Sentence Life

Iris Dunne on 9th March, 2021 wrote:

The Proceedings of the Old Bailey
WILLIAM SNOOK, Theft > burglary, 13th January 1825.
Before Mr. Justice Gaselee.

323. WILLIAM SNOOK was indicted for burglariously breaking and entering the dwelling-house of James Buxton , about seven o’clock in the night of the 17th of December , at St. Leonard, Shoreditch, with intent to steal, and burglariously stealing therein, twenty-six-yards of linen cloth, value 2 l. 16 s. his property.

EDWARD DAVID LEWIS . I am shopman to Mr. James Buxton, a linen-draper , who lives in Pitfield-street, in the parish of St. Leonard, Shoreditch . On the evening of the 17th of December. I was in the shop, and placed this piece of Irish in the window, about half-past six or seven o’clock, and about a quarter past seven I stood near the window, heard the glass break, and saw the person put his hand through the window and take the Irish out. I saw him cut his hand in taking it out, and saw his face - it was the prisoner. I ran round the counter and went in pursuit - ours is the corner house but one - he turned the corner and I after him for some distance, and then lost sight of him. I did not see him again till he was stopped by Hazard; my master was also with him; it was dark - we have gas lights in the shop - I saw him take the cloth and cut his hand in drawing it out. I found it in Mr. Buxton’s possession. There was light enough in the shop to enable me to swear to him.

THOMAS HAZARD . I am a smith. I was coming down the street about half-past seven o’clock, and met the prisoner running very fast; he passed me on the other side of the way; he was a hundred yards from the prosecutor’s house; I heard a cry of Stop thief! and turned round and followed him; I lost sight of him twice in turning the corners, but caught sight of him directly again. Just as I got up to him he stopped, seeing that I was close to him; I took hold of him. Mr. Buxton, who was in pursuit, came up directly; I said

“Come back with me;” he said,

“What are you going at?” he was very much out of breath; he was taken back to Mr. Buxton’s; the cloth was picked up two or three yards from where I stopped him. I had not been ten minutes following him, I am sure. He is the man I first saw - there was nobody else in sight.

JAMES BUXTON . I live in Pitfield-street. I was in my back parlour and heard the window smash; I instantly went into the shop, jumped over the counter and ran out, but did not see the prisoner till I caught hold of him when he was in Mr. Hazard’s charge. The cloth was found on the ground, a few yards behind him; I brought it back; I examined his hand; it was cut and streaming with blood; it appeared to have been cut with glass; he said he did not know what we brought him there for; I told him, and he said he was innocent. A little boy, who had been followingus, gave me the cloth - I saw him pick it up about a hundred yards from the shop; the cloth is marked also with blood.

THOMAS HAZARD . When I stopped him he had passed the spot where the cloth lay; I had not seen him with it.

Prisoner’s Defence. (Written). I came at about half-past seven o’clock quietly by Britannia-walk, when one of the witnesses seized me - he came one way and I the other. An accident had occurred which I feel convinced, must be the cause of my being committed for trial: I happened to have a stick in my hand, which I made two notches in, just as I heard some one call out Stop Thief! this caused me to cut my hand slightly - I threw the stick away, and as the witness came up, stood still, to make way for him; for a few moments before, just as I first heard the cry of Stop Thief! a young man came running at a great pace, and the witness almost immediately after him. The witness stopped short, challenged me, and said I was the person he had pursued. I informed him that I knew nothing of what he was speaking, and probably no notice would have been taken of me, only for the unfortunate and very suspicious circumstance that some little blood was seen on my hand, from the cut of the knife, and, as I was afterwards told, some blood was found on the piece of linen picked up in the street. I told the witness that would they only go a few paces back, they would find the notched stick, but this they refused. My prosecutor stated, at the office, that he would swear to my face, because about ten minutes before the robbery had been committed, he heard a sort of knocking at the window, like that of an umbrella coming against it, which induced him to move the things from the window, and he was thereby enabled to see my face clearly: after I was apprehended I was taken back to the shop - it was well lighted up, and the night was very dark, so it must have been difficult to have seen distinctly any one outside. My prosecutor seemed much offended with me, because he had, several nights before, lost a shawl from the window, and said that, no doubt, I was the rascal who stole it - he would, therefore, do all in his power to punish me. I am sure that the witness who first seized me, cannot, in justice say, that I am the person whom he saw running - I am certain that some other man came by me at full speed, just before he came up, and had he pursued a little further, he must have heard the man run; but as the piece of linen was found, as he said, about a dozen yards from where he took me, he said he was sure that I must be the thief. Could I have persuaded the parties to have gone a little further back, the stick must have been found; and would any one examine the cut in my hand, it would easily be seen that it is so very slight that it must have been done in the way I say, with a knife. The knife was blooded when taken from me, and I held it in my hand when the witness came up.

THOMAS HAZARD. He had no knife in his hand when I overtook him, nor did he desire me to look for a stick.

JOHN KING . I am an officer. I took the prisoner in charge in the prosecutor’s shop - I saw a knife taken from his pocket - his apron was bloody and so was the cloth.

EDWARD DAVID LEWIS re-examined. About half an hour before the window was broken I heard a noise, and it being a wet evening, I thought somebody had knocked an umbrella against the window - I moved nearly all the things out of the window to shew a gentleman, so that it was clear of goods; the Irish laid by itself - it was the prisoner’s left hand that was cut - the Irish is worth 36 s.

GUILTY - DEATH . Aged 19.

Recommended to Mercy by the Prosecutor, believing that he had been led by others to commit the offence.

Convict Changes History

Paul Snook on 9th March, 2021 made the following changes:

convicted at, term: 14 years (prev. 7 years), voyage, firstname: William Joseph Thomas (prev. William), gender: m, crime

Iris Dunne on 9th March, 2021 made the following changes:

source: UK Prison Hulk Register HO9/9. England & Wales Criminal Registers HO26/31, page 162. Ancestry. State Records NSW (Pardons Reel No. 790, Roll No. 1250). Australian Joint Copying Project. Microfilm Roll 89, Class and Piece Number HO11/8, Page Number

Iris Dunne on 9th March, 2021 made the following changes:

source: Old Bailey. UK Prison Hulk Register HO9/9. England & Wales Criminal Registers HO26/31, page 162. Ancestry. State Records NSW (Pardons Reel No. 790, Roll No. 1250). Australian Joint Copying Project. Microfilm Roll 89, Class and Piece Number HO11/8,

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