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Robert Walsh, one of 292 convicts transported on the Calcutta, February 1803
Name, Aliases & Gender
Birth, Occupation & Death
|Date of Birth:
|Date of Death:
life span was 59 years*
* Median life span based on contributions
Conviction & Transportation
Sentenced to Life
||Middlesex Gaol Delivery
4th October, 1803
|Place of arrival
||New South Wales [Port Phillip]
Travelled with 293 other convicts
||Australian Joint Copying Project. Microfilm Roll 87, Class and Piece Number HO11/1, Page Number 340
||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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Maureen Withey on 5th March, 2020 wrote:
Tasmanian Record: https://stors.tas.gov.au/CON22-1-2p514
Robert Walsh, Tried at Middlesex G.D., 2 Dec 1801, 7 years.
THOMAS BLAKE, ROBERT WALSH, Theft > grand larceny, 2nd December 1801.
40. THOMAS BLAKE, alias EVANS , and ROBERT WALSH were indicted for feloniously stealing, on the 4th of November , a satin cloak, value 5s. a petticoat, value 3s. a parasol, value 5s. and a gown, value 6s. the property of Robert Thompson .
MARY THOMPSON sworn. - My husband is a sailor ; at the time of this robbery I kept the Plough , in Rochester-row, Tothill-street ; I wished to left it, and the first man that came after it was Blake; that was about the 22d of October, and he came no more till the night he robbed me, in company with Walsh, in a coach; Blake asked to go up ftairs into the dining-room, which he did, and called for a shillings-worth of brandy and water; he called himself captain Evans, and said the mate of his ship was at the door in a coach; I told him to go up; when he came up stairs he introduced him as the mate of a ship; then he said he had taken a house at Bristol, and had given five hundred pounds for the lease of it, and proposed, if I would go to take care of it, he would give me two hundred pounds to pay my expences, which I refused, as I told him I was a married woman, and had a family; he then said to Walsh, write this letter immediately to Bristol, and after looking at it, he said to me, look at this; said I, this is a two-penny stamp; he said, it was a two hundred pound check, and would take me to Bristol; a letter was also wrote, which I took in my hand, but never looked at it; I then went to fetch another shillingsworth of brandy and water; when I took it up, he said, his friend could not drink brandy and water, but would have a pint of porter; I went down, and was absent about eight or nine minutes; my bed-room door was locked, and I had the key in my pocket; but when I went up stairs with the beer, these two men were coming out of my bed-room; the first was Blake; I saw two strings hanging dwon from his coat, which was buttoned over the petticoat; I said, what have you been doing there; he said, nothing but curoisity; I took hold of him, and said, I insist upon seeing what you have got, and took the petticoat out of his bosom; I said, you have something else in your pocket; then he pulled out the cloak and parasol from his pocket; and threw them down in a chair in the dining-room; I called to the maid, but she did not come, but ran for a constable; Blake never was out of my sight; Walsh did get away, and the gown was found upon him five or six days after.
Cross-examined by Mr. Knapp, (Counsel for Walsh).
Q. Your husband’s name is Robert? - A. Yes.
Q. How long is it fince you saw him? - A. I suppose a year and a half; he has followed the sea fourteen years; he never was sent abroad near Botany Bay; he is now on board the Kent, of 74 guns; I never saw Blake till he came after the house in October, when he came with another person, but I am sure he did not stop all night: on the night of the robbery there were plenty of people in the house, and I called loudly, but they did not come.
Q. Was the dining-room over the tap-room? - A. Yes.
Q. Were there any men in the house? - A. I dare say a dozen below.
Q. Not one of whom came up? - A. No; I stopped Blake, Walsh run away.
Cross-examined by Mr. Hart, (Counsel for Blake). Q. You say you never saw Blake till the 22d of October? - A. I never saw him but three times before in my life.
Q. When he came in the coach, who went out to him? - A. The coachman came, and asked for a quartern of gin, and said, a gentleman wanted to speak to the mistress of the house; I went out, and Blake said, don’t you know me, my name is Evans; then I said, oh then, Mr. Evans, you mean to have the house; then he told me to take the reckoning out of that piece of paper, or to take it out of that which was in the paper. (Produces a gilt ring).
Q. Did you and he go up stairs, without Walsh? - A. Yes; but I was not above two minutes up stairs.
Q. How came you to let a man go up stairs, that offered you a two-penny ring at the door? - A. It was a drinking-room for any body.
Q. Did you never meet Blake by agreement? - A. Never, any where.
Q. Did he ever pay his addresses to you? - A. Never; all he said, was, if I would go to Bristol, and take care of the house till he was married to a woman of property, which he was about to be, he would give me two hundred pounds, which I refused.
Q. Then it is not a fact that he thought of marrying you? - A. Never.
Q. Blake came out of your bed-room first? - A. Yes.
Q. Upon your oath, had Blake ever been in that room before, to your knowledge? - A. Never to my knowledge, I do swear.
Q. Have you been to see Blake since in prison?-A. His wife has been to me to offer twenty pounds, thirty pounds, or any money to go out of the way, and not appear against him, and I went to him in prison two or three times, for the poor woman came and cried, and said, she was with-child, and had three children.
Q. Did you never offer that you would not prosecute, if they would give you fifty pounds? - A. No; I said, the truth I would stand to the longest day I lived.
Q. What prison did you go to? - A. I never went without the woman; I went twice to Tothillfields, and no more, and once to Newgate, when they begged me to keep away, but I said, I would take no bribery; I did not eat or drink with him.
Q. Do you know any thing of these notes? -(Produces several letters). - A. No; I can neither read or write.
Q. Did you order any body to write them? - A. No. nor any body, to my knowledge.
EDMUND WADE sworn. - I am a draper: On the 4th of November last I was at the Plough, with a few friends; I saw the prisoner, Blake, go out of doors, and Mrs. Thompson after him, calling for assistance, as she had been robbed; I ran out, and seized Blake, and brought him back, and detained him till the patroles came; he made a great to do to get away; I went up stairs to look at the door; it seemed as if it had been forced, for one of the screws was started three parts out.
Court. Q. Did you see Blake come into the house? - A. Yes.
Q. How long was it before the other came in? - A. No great time, but I cannot say.
Q. Did you hear any noise up stairs? - A. I did, but could not presume what noise it was.
Cross-examined by Mr. Knapp. Q. I take it for granted, when a woman cried out, murder, or that she was robbed, in your hearing, you would give your assistance? - A. Yes.
Q. I thought so, you appear like a man of gallantry - now, did you hear any thing like that at this house? - A. I heard a noise of Mrs. Thompson singing out for assistance, for that she had been robbed.
Q. Do you mean to swear that? - A. Yes, as she was going out of the door.
Q. Did you hear a noise over head? - A. I heard a noise over head, but I could not say what it was, I was busy with my company; there might be between twenty and thirty.
Q. Did you see Walsh? - A. Yes; he was in the tap-room once.
Cross-examined by Mr. Hart. Q. When you saw Walsh in the tap-room, where was Blake? - A. Up stairs.
Q. Where was the landlady? - A. I cannot say.
Q. Was the lock of the bed-room inside the door? - A. Yes.
Q. Did you write any notes for Mrs. Thompson? - A. I did not write any, but there was a note or two wrote by a young man, an attorney, I cannot say who employed him; I heard them say they would give Mrs. Thompson money to make it up; but she said, she would tell nothing but the truth.
THOMAS NELSON sworn. - I am servant to Mr. Fleming, pawnbroker, in Fetter-lane; this gown was pledged with me on the 10th of November last, I believe by Robert Walsh , but I cannot swear to his person; it is pawned in the name of John Walsh, and the counterpart of the duplicate was found in his possession.
HENRY THOMPSON sworn. - I am apprentice to Mr. Fleming, and wrote these tickets; I think it was Walsh, I have not much doubt about it.
- BLY sworn. - I am a constable, and apprehended Walsh on the 11th of November; I searched him, and found this duplicate, (produces it); the Magistrates desired me to take care of this letter, directed to the worshipful Magistrates at Queen’s-square, (produces it); Walsh acknowledged it to be his writing.(The property was produced, and identified by the prosecutrix).
Blake’s defence. Wanting to take a public-house, I went to the Plough, and asked that woman the terms; we could not agree about it then, and on the 22d of October I took a friend with me to see whether he liked it; I had 98 guineas in my pocket, which I took for to pay in case we agreed; she took us into a back parlour, and brought in a bottle of brandy, of which we all drank; I went to pay, but she said, she had no change, and I had better look over the house; she then took me up stairs, and at last shewed me into her bed-room, where she kept me for about two hours, and there said, meet me at 4 o’clock to-morrow, at the Crown and Thistle; in the Haymarket, which I did; she kept me out drinking till between eight and nine o’clock and then she told me to call myself Evans, as she knew a captain of that name; we went home in a coach, and she took me up stairs, and lockedme into her bed-room; by and by she came up, and stripped off, and made me go to bed with her; she had brought up a bottle of brandy, and she and I had three glasses a-piece; in the morning I asked her for change, she said she had not got any, but, says she, here are three rings, and I will meet you between ten and eleven o’clock, at Westminster-bridge; she gave me the three rings, two of which I sold and gave her back the other, on which I had had my name and her’s engraved by her desire: On the 4th of November, when I got to the door, I told the coachman to call for a quartern of gin, and desire the mistress to come to me, she did, and I said, here is the ring and the money I borrowed of you, I cannot stop now; but she took hold of me, made me get out and go to her bed-chamber; then she ran down stairs, brought up the brandy bottle, and she and I drank about six glasses a-piece; she then said, there is a man of the name of Wade, who is a young man, and lodges in the house; I will leave him and go with you; you can tell the maid the person in the coach is your mate, and he can draw up a letter to shew to Wade, and I will go along with you this night; I told her that would not suit me, but I would think of it, and as I was dry, would have a pint of beer; she run down stairs for it, and when she came up, she took up this parasol, and said, I will go with you, and will throw these things to your friend in the coach; I opposed her doing it, and said, I would not agree to it; upon which she charged me with robbing her; I thought she was joking, till this very man, Wade, came up, and knocked me down, saying, you rascal, I will get forty pounds for swearing your life away; they then sent for a patrole and took me away; while I was in Tothil-fields, she said, if I would give her fifty pounds, she would forgive me.
Walsh’s defence. My Lord, on the day this circumstance happened, I met with Blake, who asked me to go to the Plough with him; I agreed, and we took a coach at Charing-cross; he desired the coachman, when at the Plough, to tell the woman of the house she was wanted she came, and Blake took something out of his pocket, desiring her to take charge of it, she then began exclaiming, “my dear husband, where have you been so long from me?” and so on, and made him get out of the coach; after I had sat a considerable time in the coach, near to falling asleep, I heard a tapping at the coach door, and Mrs. Thompson said, she wished me to walk up stairs; on coming into the room, “is this the mate of your vessel,” said she? “yes,” says he; we sat down and had some brandy and water; what passed between them, upon my word I am ashamed to relate, it was so bad; I was obliged to go down stairs, where I saw Wade; the way they went on, forced me to come down; soon after, the maid called out, saying, her mistress wanted me up stairs; I went up, and she said,“Mr. Walsh, see how your friend has robbed me, all these things I have taken from his person;” “I don’t think,” said I, “that he would be guilty of it, if I thought so, I would give him up;” yes, says she, he has, and you must go to prison with him; as to the duplicate I never saw it till at the Magistrate’s; the officer picked the ticket off the ground, for Mrs. Thompson came up to me and laid hold of me in a very violent manner; she certainly put it under my coat; it was not pledged till six days after, and it is very unlikely that I should keep it in my possession so long, if I had stole it.
Bly. When we searched him, he made a slip, which I suppose was intentionally done, and the papers fell on the ground; the woman was against the door, she could not possibly do it.
Blake. I wish to call Elizabeth Lamb.
ELIZABETH LAMB sworn. - I am servant to Mrs. Thompson; I know Blake; he has been at her house two or three time, he never slept there to my knowledge, on my oath; on the 4th of November, I saw the prisoners there, and the house was very full.
Court. Q. What passed - Did you go out for any body after the robbery? - A. I went up stairs, when my mistress called; she called out that Mr. Blake was a thief, and she wanted a constable; she had got him by the collar, holding him fast; I went and got the patrole.
The prisoners called nine witnesses, who gave them good characters.
Thomas Blake, GUILTY , aged 53.
Robert Walsh, GUILTY , aged 25.
Transported for seven years .
Second Middlesex Jury, before Mr. Common Serjeant.
Convict Changes History
Maureen Withey on 5th March, 2020 made the following changes: