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George Watkins

George Watkins, one of 200 convicts transported on the Runnymede, 11 November 1839

Name, Aliases & Gender

Name: George Watkins
Aliases: Watkins, William (alias)
Gender: m

Birth, Occupation & Death

Date of Birth: 1825
Occupation: Labourer
Date of Death: 28th December, 1878
Age: 53 years

Life Span

Life span

Male median life span was 53 years*

* Median life span based on contributions

Conviction & Transportation

Sentence Severity

Sentence Severity

Sentenced to 10 years

Crime: Horse theft
Convicted at: Sussex Assizes
Sentence term: 10 years
Ship: Runnymede
Departure date: 11th November, 1839
Arrival date: 28th March, 1840
Place of arrival Van Diemen's Land
Passenger manifest Travelled with 199 other convicts


Primary source: Australian Joint Copying Project. Microfilm Roll 91, Class and Piece Number HO11/12, Page Number 119 (61)
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

Nell Murphy on 25th April, 2018 wrote:

N.B. There are 2 persons on this voyage of the ‘Runnymede’ 1840 named George Watkins.  This George, also known as William, is Identifier 2.

George WATKINS (also known as William WATKINS) was convicted at Sussex, England on 18 March 1838 for horse stealing. 4 previous convictions for offences. 10 yr transportation sentence. Sent to Van Diemen’s Land (Tasmania) per the ship ‘Runnymede’ arriving 28 March 1840. Ship surgeon’s report: very bad, during the passage out.

Single man; aged 16 or 18 yrs; 4’10” height.
Native place of birth: Bristol, England.

Assigned to work services.
Numerous notes of misconduct and punishments.
1846: sent to Port Arthur penal establishment.

1848: Hobart Court - stealing wheat. Not Guilty.

Ross Howat on 12th October, 2019 wrote:

This George seems to have lied a lot.  He seems to have married my 2ndGGM Jane SHERRY in Melbourne 1854, then run off.  He was 14 when he was convicted in Lewes, Sussex in 1839, so his birth year would be 1825: Tasmanian LINC convict 2677.  Trove shows him as getting off in March 1849 after serving his full term. Victoria coastal shipping probably shows him arriving in Melbourne aboard the YARRA YARRA on 23 May 1854.  He marries Jane SHERRY on 2 Jan 1854 in Williamstown, saying he is a ‘Waterman’, ‘26’ and born in ‘Brighton, England’ and his father was ‘John, a sawyer’. Well it’s probable that the Brighton bit was the only almost right thing he said.  Trove shows (The Age, 4 Jan 1879) that on 28 Dec 1878 a guy named George WATKINS, aged 54 and a native of Sussex, died in Kew Asylum of ‘general dropsy.’ Vic BD&M confirms the age and origin, and cites his mother as Mary BURGESS and father unknown.  FindMyPast shows two George WATKINS baptised 1825 (+/- 5 years) in the Brighton district (registered Lewes) with mothers named Mary.  The 1824 one had a father Thomas who was an Excise Supervisor, and a mother Mary Ann GRIFFITHS.  I have researched this family and George does not seem to have survived.  The 1825 one had a father William WATKINS and mother Mary (noname), because of the ‘William’ tie-in, I think 2677 George was the 1825 baptism.  I further think 2677 George was the death of 28 Dec 1878 in Melbourne, because of that persons VicPol record 14371 (b.1825) for a Jan 1877 Fraud conviction for an 1874 Imposition offence.  Trove clips available on request.

Convict Changes History

Nell Murphy on 25th April, 2018 made the following changes:

alias1: Watkins, William (alias) (prev. Watkins, William (Alias)), gender: m

Nell Murphy on 25th April, 2018 made the following changes:

date of birth: 1821 (prev. 0000), occupation, crime

Ross Howat on 12th October, 2019 made the following changes:

date of birth: 1825 (prev. 1821), date of death: 28th December, 1878 (prev. 0000)

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