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James Wadden

James Wadden, one of 260 convicts transported on the Merchantman, 29 June 1864

Name, Aliases & Gender

Name: James Wadden
Aliases: none
Gender: m

Birth, Occupation & Death

Date of Birth: 1831
Occupation: Hairdresser
Date of Death: 31st May, 1866
Age: 35 years

Life Span

Life span

Male median life span was 61 years*

* Median life span based on contributions

Conviction & Transportation

Sentence Severity

Sentence Severity

Sentenced to Life

Crime: Attempted murder
Convicted at: Central Criminal Court
Sentence term: Life
Ship: Merchantman
Departure date: 29th June, 1864
Arrival date: 12th September, 1864
Place of arrival Western Australia
Passenger manifest Travelled with 260 other convicts


Primary source: Australian Joint Copying Project. Microfilm Roll 93, Class and Piece Number HO11/19, Page Number 35 (20)
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

Eleanor Coppen Roberts on 5th March, 2015 wrote:

James had a brother John who is buried in his wife Ann’s family grave at Nunhead in London. Ann’s family name is Ritchie.

D Wong on 7th March, 2015 wrote:

James Wadden was 31 years old when convicted of cutting the throat of his wife.

1853: At the Old Bailey: James had an altercation with Martha Ambrose – she was charged with ‘Violent Robbery’ but found not guilty.
MARTHA AMBROSE, Violent Theft > robbery, 31st January 1853.
MARTHA AMBROSE , robbery on James Wadden, and stealing from him 1 watch, value 5l., and 1 chain, value 2l., and beating and striking him.
MR. PAYNE conducted the Prosecution.
JAMES WADDEN . I live in Greenman-cottages, Old Kent-road, and am a hairdresser. On Thursday, 13th Jan., I was in Angel-court, Little Bellalley, Coleman-street, about 12 o’clock at night—I went into the Angel public-house to have a glass of ginger beer—the prisoner followed me in, and asked what I was going to treat her with—(I had not seen her in the court before I went in)—I said, “Go along”—she said, “No; give me a drop of gin”—I said, “Well, if that is all you want I will give you a drop,” and I did—I called for half a quartern of gin, and I paid for it—in a few minutes after she drank the gin she walked out—I do not suppose she was in the house three minutes—there was a gas light in the house—I was standing at the bar, and she was close by the side of me—I had an opportunity of seeing her—she came out of the house, and I came out not two minutes after she left—I did not go out immediately with her—when I got out in the court I saw her again—she stopped me a few yards from the door, and she struck me suddenly
in the stomach with her right hand, and snatched my watch and chain from my trowsers pocket with her left hand—the chain was not round my neck at that time—I had taken it off my neck and put the watch and chain in the fob pocket of my trowsers—there was no chain hanging out that I am aware of, but I suspect there must have been, or she would not have known it—it was a silver watch with a gold chain, and was worth 7l.—after she took the watch she made off to Little Bell-alley, and I made alter her, but there are so many turnings and courts that I could not find her—from that time I had been looking for her every day except Sunday, almost day and night—on Thursday 20th Jan., I went out and about 10 minutes before 7 o’clock in the evening I was at the Royal Exchange, and saw her by the statue, with a female—the prisoner is the person who struck me, and took the watch—I gave her into custody of the police—I have not the slightest doubt that she is the person.

JAMES WADDEN, Breaking Peace > wounding, 5th January 1863.

Reference Number: t18630105-232
Offence: Breaking Peace > wounding
Verdict: Guilty > no_subcategory
Punishment: Imprisonment > penal servitude

JAMES WADDEN (29) Feloniously cutting and wounding Anna Maria Colchester Wadden, with intent to murder her. Second Court, stating the prosecutor’s name to be Anna Maria Wadden Dixon.
MR. LEWIS conducted the Prosecution.
ANNA MARIA COLCHESTER WADDEN . (This witness was examined partly through an interpreter, and partly by writing her answers on a slate, her voice being destroyed by the injuries to her throat.) I live at the Pitt’s Head, Portland-town—I was living with the prisoner as his wife, and occasionally slept with him at 3, New Church-street West, Edgeware-road—we went there to sleep on 16th November, about 11 o’clock—we went up into the bedroom, and my husband locked the door—I did not notice whether he left the key in the door after he looked it—I took a bag into the room, which I knew at the time contained a razor-case and a brush—we had some words shortly after entering—we were both undressed—i do not remember where the bag was put; I did not go to it—I think I put it on the table, or on the cupboard—my husband was swearing, and saying he had seen me the day before with some person—I went to the foot of the bed—my husband was standing against the mantlepiece—I stood talking to him two or three minutes before I observed he had a razor in his hand—I tuned my head to the door, and felt something cut me, bat I scarcely felt any pain, it was so quick—my husband did it—I was standing with my face to him—he immediately called for help, and said that I had done it myself—he called “Murder,” and I got to the door—the key was not in it, and I had not got it—I did not see the key pat into the door—my husband pushed me from it, and I fell on my left side—he afterwards opened the door—I then had hold of him, trying to get past him—when I was on the ground he pressed his finger into the wound in my throat, and then asked me to tell him if I had been out the day before—he prevented my getting past him—the landlord of the house was the first person who came up to my assistance—the prisoner has threatened me repeatedly before; the last time he threatened my life was about two months before he attempted it—he said that he would cut my throat—he had a razor in his hand at that time—he had threatened me shortly before that—on my solemn oath, my husband did it, and not myself.

Cross-examined by MR. COOPER. Q. How long have you been married? A. Three years last September—we often had quarrels, because he used to be very jealous—I was not jealous of him sometimes—he is a barber—these were temporary lodgings where we went twice a week—Mr. Cobbett lived there—I attempted to cut my throat about a year ago through his ill-treatment—we were then at 16, Eocleston-street, Leicester-square—I had not threatened it very often before, nor attempted it—I have had delicate health—I was not strong as a child—I was not subject to hysteria, fainting, nor of late years to headaches—I remember having a quarrel with Mary Ann Skeate—I never attempted to cut her with a razor—I was not very violent against her—I had not a razor in my hand at that time—I never had a quarrel with her, more than a few words.
MR. LEWIS. Q. What was the nature of the ill-treatment when you threatened to take your own life? A. He had ill-used me the same morning—I did not go home to live with my father that time, but I had about twelve months before, through my husband’s ill-usage—I did actually cut my throat—when I went back from my father’s the same thing continued—I had not been married a week when the prisoner began to ill-treat me, and it has continued on and off ever since.
MR. COOPER. Q. The day before this, had you been out drinking with your husband? A. I had never left my father’s house on the Saturday, and witnesses will come to prove it—I went out on this Sunday with my husband at about 5 in the evening—I had drank nothing but some tea.
JURY. Q. Had the door been locked in the same way on previous occasions, and the key taken out? A. He generally turned the key after we got into the room, but I never knew him take it out of the lock before.

The trial goes on for many pages so I have shortened it, but it can be read in full at Old Bailey on Line.  The trial date is as above.

COURT. Q. Is the injury permanent? A. Yes; and it will hare some effect upon her general health.
THOMAS CHARLES KIRBY . I am divisional surgeon of police, and live at 7, Connaught-terrace—I have heard the evidence of the last witness, and quite agree with it.

Cross-examined. Q. Do you think it possible that such a wound might be inflicted by a person upon themselves? A. It might—I agree with Mr. Graves about the curved character of the wound—I made that remark when I first saw it.

GUILTY .— Penal Servitude for Life.
(There was another indictment against the prisoner for bigamy).

James was 5’4” tall, light brown hair, dark hazel eyes, fair complexion, middling stout.

31/5/1866: James died at the Guildford Depot, aged 34.  Found no reports on how he died.

Convict Changes History

D Wong on 7th March, 2015 made the following changes:

date of birth: 1831 (prev. 0000), date of death: 31st May, 1866 (prev. 0000), gender: m, occupation, crime

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