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James Spalden

James Spalden, one of 130 convicts transported on the Sir Charles Forbes, 23 November 1824

Name, Aliases & Gender

Name: James Spalden
Aliases: James Spaulding
Gender: -

Birth, Occupation & Death

Date of Birth: 22nd May, 1805
Occupation: -
Date of Death: 6th March, 1873
Age: 67 years

Life Span

Life span

Median life span was 59 years*

* Median life span based on contributions

Conviction & Transportation

Sentence Severity

Sentence Severity

Sentenced to 7 years

Crime: Stealing
Convicted at: Warwick Assizes
Sentence term: 7 years
Ship: Sir Charles Forbes
Departure date: 23rd November, 1824
Arrival date: 18th April, 1825
Place of arrival Van Diemen's Land
Passenger manifest Travelled with 129 other convicts


Primary source: Australian Joint Copying Project. Microfilm Roll 88, Class and Piece Number HO11/5, Page Number 234
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

Gina Ramsay on 7th November, 2015 wrote:

• James was born about 1805 in Birmingham, England. So far I have not found his actual birth.
27 March 1824 James was tried at the Warwick Assizes Unfortunately his convict record does not show what he was convicted of. Keith Spaulding advised that the trial records from Warwick have not survived, but he believes that James was sentenced to death and then this was changed to 7 years transportation.
He came to VDL as James Spalden but all records other than his convict record show his name as James Spaulding.
He travelled on the “Sir Charles Forbes” leaving England 5 Jan 1825 and arriving in Hobart 17 April 1825.
The shipping record shows he was 19 years old, 5 ft 4 1/2 inch, Hair and eyes brown. His trade was a pearl button maker. Native Place Birmingham. His Certificate of Freedom was granted 24 March 1832.
After arrival James was assigned to work for Mr Newman at Glenorchy.
On his convict record is only one entry
“Jan 2 1826 Newman Glenorchy/ Threats to assault and beat Rich? Phillips a settler Glenorchy on Thursday last & RepT abusing him. PB & not to be ass? to this side of the Island.”
Meaning of the above:
On Jan 2, 1826 while assigned to Newman of Glenorchy James was accused of threating to assault and beat Rich (probably Richard) Phillips a settler at Glenorchy on the previous Thursday and reportably or repeatably abusing him (Assault is physical, Abuse is verbal). The sentence is James is sent to the Prison Barracks (PB) and he is not to be assigned to another settler on this side of the island. Although Glenorchy to the Carlton (now Carlton River) is not very far apart in modern terms but in 1826 it was about as far apart as you could go without going to the north of the colony, ie; Launceston.
Various other documents and family stories claim that James was then assigned to Hugh McGuiness at the Carlton. James was to settle there and stayed for the rest of his life.
The Mr Newman that James was originally assigned to, had a daughter Margaret, who was married but apparently seperated and living with her father. It is probable that Margaret was still a child when she first met James as she was supposedly born in 1815. It is known that Margaret and James started a relationship at some time that was not approved of by her father. There are stories that the crime that James commited in 1826 was made up by Newman and his friend to get rid of James and seperate him from Margaret. However, they evidently continued to see each other or were reaquainted later,and their daughter Mary Jane was born 28 Feb 1836. Mary Jane was baptised 15 Jan 1837 at New Town, and the register gives the parents as James and Margaret Spaulding. However, I have not been able to find any record of a marriage for James and Margaret. Little is known about Mary Jane as she grew up but there were stories that Margaret had died when Mary Jane was young and that Mary Jane was raised by Granny Spaulding. This lead to a belief that James’ parents may have come out. However I have never found any record of this. It is possible that Mary Jane was actually raised by James and his wife Abigail, as she spent time with her half siblings, and Sarah, the eldest of Abigail and James’ children, was a witness at the wedding of Mary Jane to Joseph McGuinniss, a grandson of Hugh who James was assigned to.
James married Abigail Rebecca Smith 6 Nov, 1840 at the Carlton. Abigail was the daughter of William Sale Smith, also a convict, and Martha Sheldrick. The Smiths were from Essex and Willam arrived in VDL in 1820 per the Dromedary. Sentenced to death for stealing and killing a lamb. This was repreived and changed to transportation for life. Between 1820 and 1823 Martha and her 3 children arrived in VDL, with them was Mary Smith a daughter of William and his first wife (name currently unknown). Mary married John Hall McGuinness a son of Hugh, and Mary and John were the parents of Joseph who married Mary Jane Spaulding. Another strand of the interwoven connections of the Spaulding, Smith and the McGuiness clans, which has continued for generations.
James and Abigail had 9 children.

Convict Changes History

Gina Ramsay on 7th November, 2015 made the following changes:

alias1: James Spaulding, date of birth: 22nd May, 1805 (prev. 0000), date of death: 6th March, 1873 (prev. 0000), crime

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