Hi Guest!
Contribute to this record

Esther Swatman

Esther Swatman, one of 121 convicts transported on the Morley, 17 May 1820

Name, Aliases & Gender

Name: Esther Swatman
Aliases: Sweetman
Gender: f

Birth, Occupation & Death

Date of Birth: 1800
Occupation: Laundress
Date of Death: 7th August, 1853
Age: 53 years

Life Span

Life span

Female median life span was 56 years*

* Median life span based on contributions

Conviction & Transportation

Sentence Severity

Sentence Severity

Sentenced to 7 years

Crime: Stealing linen
Convicted at: Middlesex Gaol Delivery
Sentence term: 7 years
Ship: Morley
Departure date: 17th May, 1820
Arrival date: 30th September, 1820
Place of arrival New South Wales
Passenger manifest Travelled with 123 other convicts


Primary source: Australian Joint Copying Project. Microfilm Roll 88, Class and Piece Number HO11/3, Page Number 328
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.

Did you find the person you were looking for?

If Esther Swatman was the person you were looking for, you may be able to discover more about them by looking at our resources page.

If you have more hunting to do, try a new search or browse the convict records.

Know more about Esther Swatman?

Contribute to this record

Community Contributions

Anonymous on 15th September, 2011 wrote:

Sarah Sweetman (Swatman) was my great-great-great-great grandmother.

BENJAMIN SWATMAN, SARAH SWATMAN, CHARLES MITCHELL, SARAH MITCHELL, JAMES ALDERSON, ESTHER SWATMAN, theft : simple grand larceny, theft : receiving stolen goods, theft : receiving stolen goods, 1st December, 1819.
The Proceedings of the Old Bailey Ref: t18191201-122

Trial Summary:
Crime(s): theft : simple grand larceny
Punishment Type: transportation (Punishment details may be provided at the end of the trial.)
Verdict: Not Guilty; Guilty

Original Text:
121. BENJAMIN SWATMAN and SARAH SWATMAN were indicted for stealing, on the 23d of November, 62 napkins, value 5 l.; 57 table-cloths, value 8 l.; 10 dishes, value 3 s.; 58 plates, value 10 s.; eight knives, value 1 s.; six forks, value 6 d.; five candlesticks, value 3 s.; 87 sheets, value 30 l.; 33 towels, value 20 s.; 17 pillow-cases, value 17 s.; 14 blankets, value 20 s., and eight yards of linen, value 8 s. , the goods of John Hatchett , Nathaniel Beard , and Shirley David Beare ; CHARLES MITCHELL and SARAH MITCHELL were indicted for feloniously receiving 23 table-cloths, value 3 l. 10 s.; 26 napkins, value 2 l.; six dishes, value 2 s.; 29 plates, value 3 s.; four knives, value 6 d.; four forks, value 4 d., and two candlesticks, value 1 s., part of the said goods, they well knowing them to have been stolen ; and JAMES ALDERSON and ESTHER SWATMAN were indicted for feloniously receiving 22 sheets, value 8 l.; 33 towels, value 20 s.; three dishes, value 1 s.; 13 pillow-cases, value 18 s.; 32 table-cloths, value 4 l. 10 s., and four blankets, value 20 s., being the other part of the said goods so, as aforesaid, feloniously stolen, they well knowing them to have been stolen .
Counsel for the Prosecution, MESSRS. ALLEY and BROADRICK.
Mr. NATHANIEL BEARD . I am in partnership with John Hatchett and Shirley David Beare . We keep Hatchett’s Hotel, in Piccadilly. The partnership commenced on the 29th of September last.
Cross-examined by MR. WALFORD. Q. Before the 29th of September it was in other hands - A. Yes.
ESTHER LEE . I am a laundress, employed to wash for the prosecutors, and live in Fulham-road. The prisoner Sarah Swatman , was employed to fetch the linen, and take it home. Her husband occasionally assisted.
Cross-examined by MR. WALFORD. Q. How often did it come - A. Every day, more or less. The husband and wife never came together. Sometimes we have thirty sheets and fifty or sixty table-cloths - it depends on the number of customers in the house.
ELIZA WILLIAMS . It was part of my duty at the prosecutors to give out the linen to be washed. Sarah Swatman used to fetch it - she reckoned it, and I put down what she told me there was. I made out the bill according to what she said there was; I depended on her. When it was returned I reckoned it with the bill, and found the quantity stated in the bill exact. What more she took I cannot say.
Cross-examined by MR. WALFORD. Q. Did you never count it yourself - A. No, except when her husband came, I then always counted it. She generally came - they never came together.
SAMUEL PLANK . I am an officer of Marlborough-street. I was sent to inquire about the property. In consequence of information I went towards Hatchett’s house, in High-street, Kensington, on Tuesday, the 23d of November, with Chester, the waiter at the hotel. In the way we met Sarah Swatman ; Chester asked her where she had been? She said to Brompton. I asked her if she had not been to her son, Mitchell, at Kensington? She said, No. I asked her again - she denied it a second time. I then asked her who she had been to at Bromptom? I said I must know the person’s name. She refused to tell. I took her into custody, and took her to her son Mitchell’s. Before we got there she acknowledged she had been to him. She went to the door, and entered the house. She first went up stairs, and met Charles Mitchell coming down the garret stairs. I told him to go back, and we all went into the room together. I asked him if that was his lodgings? He said it was. I asked for his wife? He said she was out, and he did not know when she would return. I asked him if he had been that day to Mr. Kimber’s, the pawnbroker, at Knightsbridge? He said he had not, and never was there in his life. I said that was not true, and I must search him, which I did, and found nothing about him. I proceeded to search the room, and on my putting my hand upon a tin box which was on the mantle-piece, he made a snatch at it, and said there were notes in it. There was some little confusion, and on his endeavouring to get it from me the candle was knocked out. I procured another light. While I was examing the contents he escaped out of the room - it is a narrow staircase. I pursued him; he threw a garden-pot off the window, which fell between him and me. I fell over it - he got out and shut the door; I could not get out.
Q. What did you find in the box - A. Two duplicates of Mr. Kimber’s, at Knightsbridge, dated that day, the 23d of November: one for a table-cloth, pledged for 14 s., shillings, in the name of John Wilson , No. 4, Queen-street, Oxford-street; the other for six table-cloths, pledged for 12 s., in the same name and address. I then brought Sarah Swatman away. I returned to the lodgings afterwards, and made a further search. I found three other duplicates in a box in a drawer. I also found twenty-six towels, nine of them marked
"Hatchett’s Hotel;" four table-cloths, one marked and one with the mark cut out, and two without marks. Seven ends of table-cloths, which had been cut off, some marked, and nine ends of sheets, some of them marked in the same way; six blue and white dishes, twenty-nine plates, four knives and forks, and two candlesticks, all of which Chester immediately claimed. I took the woman to Marlborough-street, in the first instance, and asked how her son came by the property? She said,
"You may find my son, and find it out as you can." I asked her if she had not a daughter living at Chelsea, who went by the name of Alderson? She said she had, but refused to tell me where.
Q. That night you went to Chelsea - A. Yes, at eleven o’clock, and found Esther Swatman in a room at No. 6, Cumberland-street, Chelsea. She is the woman I called Alderson; I thought she was married - he was not there. I found her abed in the front parlour. She opened the door when I knocked. I asked her where her husband was? She said he was not at home. On my looking round the room she burst out crying, and said,
"I know what you are come for - the things are all here, they were brought here by my father and mother this morning before it was well light" (pointing to a large chest and bundle). The sheets on the bed were marked
"E. S." I asked if they were her’s? She said,
"No, they are your’s, they were brought here by my mother." Chester was with me I found several napkins and towels, with the same initials. She said they were not her’s, but were brought by her mother. Chester looked round the room, and found a quantity of earthenware corresponding with the other. She said,
"That is your’s too, they were brought by my mother, with the exception of one dish." There was a tin candlestick there.
Q. What did you find in the boxes and bundle - A. Twenty-two sheets, fifteen of them marked
"Hatchett’s Hotel, Piccadilly," two marked
"E. S.", and four without marks; thirty-four table-cloths, twenty-four marked
"Hatchett’s Hotel," two
"E. S.", and the rest unmarked; forty-three napkins, thirty-six unmarked, and seven marked
"E. S."; twenty-six towels, marked
"Hatchett’s Hotel;" thirteen pillow-cases, three marked, four with the marks cut out, and three marked
"E. S."; six blankets, four of them marked. There were seventy ends of sheets cut off, most of them marked
"Hatchett’s Hotel;" fifteen ends of towels, some of them marked; six pieces of stair-carpet, seventeen dishes, twenty-nine plates, a cup and saucer, twenty-four knives, and eight forks, all of which Chester claimed. I asked her again where her husband was? She said he was afraid to sleep at home, for fear he should be apprehended; at last she told me where to find him.
Q. Did you, in consequence of her information, go to No. 15, Gray’s-buildings, Duke-street, Manchester-square - A, Yes, about one o’clock at night, and found Alderson in bed there. I awoke him, and asked his name? After a little time he said it was Alderson. I asked if that was his lodgings? He said Yes. I said, Have you any other lodging? He said No - that he always slept there, and was not married. I asked him if he had any lodgings at No. 6, Cumberland-street, Chelsea? He said No, he did not know it. I then said,
"You have a lodging there, and are married. I have found a great deal of stolen property in your room, and you must dress yourself and go with me to account how you came by it." He said,
"Well, that is the truth; I have a lodging there, and live with a woman named Swatman. I know the property you mention was there - it was brought by her father and mother this morning before it was well light; they knocked at the window; I got up and helped them in with it. I am sorry I did not tell you the truth, but my reasons for leaving the lodgings was, I thought if you came and found me and the things there I should be apprehended." I put him in the watch-house.
Q. Did you proceed anywhere else - A. About three o’clock, Chester, Whales, and I went to Mitchell’s mother’s house, in King’s Road, World’s End, Chelsea. Whales placed himself at the back of the house to prevent an escape, and I knocked at the door; the mother looked out, and I told her my business, but she refused to come down and let me in. I then said I must break in. I heard a noise at the back, got over the rails, and found Mitchell in the custody of Whales - we took him into the house through the window. He then wished very much to be forgiven, and said he had told me what was not true, and that he had been that evening to Kimber’s, the pawnbroker - she also said,
"You found other property of Mr. Hatchett’s in my room, and all I have pledged, and all you found there, was brought by my wife’s mother." His wife, Sarah Mitchell , was there, and joined him in the same declaration - I put them into a coach, and proceeded to Chelsea, to the elder Swatman’s house; they live at No. I, Strathmore-place; I there found Benjamin Swatman , took him into custody, and asked him where his sons and daughters lived? He said he had a son and daughter at Kensington, named Mitchell. I asked him if he had not a son and daughter, named Alderson? He said he had, that they lived somewhere in town, but he could not tell where. I asked him if they did not live at Chelsea; He said, No, he was sure they did not, and that he had not seen any thing of them for several days. I took him to the coach where they were, and asked him if he knew them? He said,
"Yes, they are my son and daughter, Mitchell." I said to them,
"Your father declares he knew nothing about it." She cried, and said,
"Father, it is no use denying it." I put him into a separate watch-house from them, and the next morning on my fetching him to the office, I told him what I had found at his daughter, Alderson’s, in Cumberland-street. He said,
"It is no use my denying it any longer. I did help to take the things there, but did not know what they were." I said,
"You must have known what they were, for the chest weighed 2 cwt., and there were many more loose about the chest - he declined saying any thing more. I searched his lodgings, and found six dishes, nine plates, three tin candlesticks, four knives, and two forks - Chester claimed them.
Cross-examined by MR. ARABIN. Q. Alderson cohabits with Swatman - A. Yes, I know his father is a respectable man, and lives in the same buildings where I found him. I knew him before, and never suspected him. Esther Swatman from the beginning to the end never told me an untruth.
Cross-examined by MR. WALFORD. Q. You say Benjamin Swatman declined saying any thing more; Did you ask him any thing else - A. Yes. I said he must know what was in the box - he was silent.
THOMAS CHESTER . I am head waiter at Hatchett’s Hotel. I accompanied Plank to all the places, his account is perfectly correct - the property is the prosecutor’s. They used to fetch the linen in a wheelbarrow.
Cross-examined by MR. WALFORD. Q. Was the man or woman employed in any thing but taking the linen away - A. No. I never saw the man in the house - the woman had the privilege of going all over the house. The linen was kept in a different place from the knives and forks.
Q. Had you seen any one particular thing since the 29th of September - A. I cannot say.
MR. BROADRICK. Q. Are any of the things marked Hatchett and Co. - A. Yes. The things were marked so after this firm commenced, and not before. The linen is also marked the same.
LAUNCELOT WILD . I live with Mr. Wells, who is a pawnbroker, and lives at Chelsea; the prisoner, Charles Mitchell , brought two table-cloths to me. On holding them up to the light, I discovered a sort of a patch at one corner; it immediately occured to me that it was a mark defaced. I took no notice, but laid it down, and said,
"Whose are these?" He said they were his, and his name was Smith. I then observed that the other was marked in the same way, and said,
"What mark is this?" He said it was on them when he bought them second-hand at a shop. I said,
"What occasion had you to hide the mark if that was the case?" Before he replied, I saw the word,
"Hotel," on it. I went into he parlour with it to speak to Mr. Wells, and while I was speaking to him the prisoner left, leaving them behind him - I had advanced nothing on them. I have every reason to believe he is the man. On the Sunday following, in consequence of information, I called upon Mr. Hatchett. The marks were covered over with pipe-clay.
HENRY POWELL . I am shopman to Mr. Kimber, who is a pawnbroker, and lives at Knightsbridge. The prisoner, Sarah Mitchell, pledged six table-cloths at my shop, on the 29th of October, in the name of Mary Mitchell ; she had also pledged six on the 19th for 12 s, in the name of Elizabeth Mitchell . On the 23d of November Charles Mitchell came to pay the interest on them. I thought it suspicious that he should pay it so soon, and after he was gone I opened them, and found there had been Hatchett’s hotel marked on them. I informed Mr. Hatchett.
(Property produced and sworn to.)
BENJAMIN SWATMAN ‘S Defence. My wife asked me to carry them to my daughter’s, and I did.
SARAH SWATMAN ‘S Defence. I am guilty of some of it, but my family are innocent.
CHARLES MITCHELL ‘S Defence. I courted Sarah Swatman . Her mother asked me several times if I was inclined to marry her? I said I was, but I was not able to get her decent lodgings. She said,
"Don’t mention that, you shall never take my daughter into bare walls." I thought she meant to furnish a place, agreed to marry her, and took a house next door to Mrs. Swatman’s, for her to put the articles in - I thought it was improper to ask her where she got them. I took the things as a present. We were then married, and at different times various other things were brought, which I thought was to set us decently in order - this is how I came by the things. I call the Omnipotent to witness that I did not know they were stolen. I took their boy, to learn him to read and write to prevent him from wandering about the streets, and the mother said all the broken victuals that she got from Mr. Hatchett’s should be sent for him. It came at different times wrapped in table-cloths.
SARAH MITCHELL ‘S Defence. I was in distress, took them out of the drawer, and pledged them when my husband was out of work.
JAMES ALDERSON ‘S Defence. On Saturday fortnight, between five and six o’clock in the morning, a knock came at my window - it was Mrs. Swatman. I went to the door, and Mr. and Mrs. Swatman stood there with a large chest. I asked what was the matter? She said,
"We are going to move, let me put this in your passage" - they took it into the parlour, and said they would fetch it. I went to work. In the course of the day I understood she brought two bundles, and begged of her daughter not to let me know. In the evening her daughter came to me, and said the things had been stolen, and they were all ruined. We went home, and they told us two gentlemen had been there - Esther said I had better sleep out. I took her advice, and slept at my father’s. Just before Esther laid in, her mother sent the sheets and table-cloths.
ESTHER SWATMAN ‘S Defence. My mother and father brought the things. Those marked in my own name, my mother had given to me.
S. SWATMAN - GUILTY . Aged 55.
S. MITCHELL - GUILTY . Aged. 23.
E. SWATMAN - GUILTY . Aged. 19.
Transported for Seven Years .
First Middlesex Jury, before Mr. Recorder.

Sarah Sweetman, her daughters Sarah Mitchell & Esther Sweetman and her son William Sweetman all arrived in Sydney aboard "Morley" on 30 September 1820.  Her son-in-law Charles Mitchell was transported on "Agamemnon".

Denis Pember on 7th October, 2017 wrote:

I the colony, Esther married Edward New (convict, 1819, “Baring”).
She and Edward had 7 children.
In the 1828 census the family is recorded on page 284….
[Ref N0183] New, Edward, 28, ticket of leave, Baring, butcher, Parramatta, 1 horse, 30 horned cattle, 100 sheep.
[Ref N0184] New, Esther, 27, free by servitude, Morley.
[Ref N0185] New, James 9, came free.
[Ref N0186] New, Henry 5 born in the colony.
[Ref N0187] New, William, 3 and a half, born in the colony.
[Ref N0188] New, Susannah, 8 months, born in the colony.
## Note the son James is actually the child of Esther and James Alderson who was born in England prior to her transportation.  He has adopted the name of his step-father in the colony.

Convict Changes History

Denis Pember on 17th July, 2017 made the following changes:

date of birth: 1800 (prev. 0000), date of death: 7th August, 1853 (prev. 0000), gender: f, crime

Vanessa Turner on 7th May, 2020 made the following changes:

alias1: Sweetman, occupation, crime

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