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Richard Watson

Richard Watson, one of 200 convicts transported on the Ann, August 1809

Name, Aliases & Gender

Name: Richard Watson
Aliases: none
Gender: m

Birth, Occupation & Death

Date of Birth: 1788
Occupation: -
Date of Death: 23rd June, 1864
Age: 76 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: Burglary
Convicted at: Lancaster Assizes
Sentence term: Life
Ship: Ann or Anne
Departure date: August, 1809
Arrival date: 27th February, 1810
Place of arrival New South Wales
Passenger manifest Travelled with 199 other convicts


Primary source: Australian Joint Copying Project. Microfilm Roll 87, Class and Piece Number HO11/1, Page Number 426
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

Denis Pember on 2nd March, 2016 wrote:

Richard was born in Haslington, Lancashire, son of Richard Watson and Ann (nèe Duckworth).
Details of his crime are yet to be located.

He arrived in the Ann, February 27th 1810, and is located in the 1811 Muster of New South Wales and Van Diemens Land.

1811: [Ref 6096] Richard Watson, Anne 2. Tried March 1808, Lancasester, Life. At Hobart.

Denis Pember on 2nd March, 2016 wrote:

Richard married Hannah Jane Williams, October 4th 1813 at St Davids, Hobart.
Hannah was the daughter of Isaac Williams (Convict, Matilda, 1791) and Rachel Hoddy (Convict , Lady Juliana, 1790).
Richard and Hannah had a large family, 13, being 10 girls and 3 boys, born between 1814 and 1838.
It would appear that they lived all their lives in Tasmania and therefore do not appear in the 1828 Census records.

Daphne McCartney on 12th July, 2016 wrote:

Richard Watson 1788-1864
Richard Watson was born in 1788 in Haslingden, Lancashire, England the son of Richard Watson and Anne Duckworth. He was baptised on the 3rd of January 1788 at St James, Haslingden.
On the 16th of March 1808 at the Lancashire Lent Assizes, along with Elijah Moorehouse (alias Morris) he was convicted of burglary of the house of D. Lonsdale (Haslingden) and sentenced to death which was then commuted to transportation for life to Van Dieman’s Land (Australia). By the 6th of May 1808 he was a nineteen year old being held on a ‘hulk’ in Portsmouth awaiting transportation.
Richard was one of 200 convicts transported on the Ann (Ann 11) which departed Portsmouth on the 25th of August 1809 stopping at Rio de Janeiro. Ship’s captain was Charles Clarke and 197 of the male convicts arrived safely at Port Jackson, New South Wales, Australia on the 27th of February 1810, one convict named Pope having died after falling overboard and two others were re landed. Also aboard was a detachment of the 73rd soldier regiment, with Captain Maclean in charge, and a variety of stores including foodstuffs, soaps, shoes, carpenter tools, glass wear and alcohol. The latter apparently to be issued according to the Governor’s approval. The prisoners arrived in good health and apparently agreed they had been well treated.
Richard, along with other convicts, was transferred from Sydney, New South Wales to Hobart, Tasmania by the ship ‘Union’ which left on the 7th of March 1810.  Arrival date is unknown. Proof of Richard’s presence on this voyage is recorded in a government letter on the 13th of September 1822 which was a reply to a query by Lieutenant Governor Sorell about descriptions of convicts that arrived in Tasmania on the ship Union 1810.
There are no newspaper or government articles about Richard in Tasmania where crimes were well monitored. This would suggest that he led a law abiding life as he raised his family. He married Hannah Williams, by banns, on the 4th of October 1813 in St David’s Anglican Church, Hobart. Hannah was still fifteen years old and the daughter of convicts Rachel Hoddy and Isaac Williams. Both Richard and Hannah were unable to write and put a cross as their mark. Richard would have been 24 years old. They were married by Robert Knopwood and witnesses were James Low and David Burt.
Baptism records show a total of fourteen children born to Hannah and Richard, 3 sons and 11 daughters, between 1814 and 1838. Frances 1814, Mary 1816, Eliza 1819, Rachel Ann Rebecca 1821, Isaac William Henry 1823, Ann Eliza 1825, Richard 1827, Elizabeth 1829, Catherine 1831, Caroline Susannah 1833, Eliza Ann 1835, Lydia and Martha (twins) 1836 and William Henry Watson 1838.
In the 1821 convict muster Richard is listed as emancipated which meant he had completed his sentence and was finally a free man. His occupations included sawyer (recorded on children’s birth certificates 1829-1833) and from 1835 a farmer. The 1811 convict records placed him as a resident in Hobart and later he lived at Sorell Plains and High Plains then from1833 he remained in Ouse.
Richard’s wife, Hannah, died on the 19th of February 1850 in Ouse. She was 50 years old and died from consumption. The informant of her death was Thomas Hoskinson, a nephew (son of Hannah’s sister Mary). The Mercury newspaper on Friday 24th of June 1864 recorded that Richard Watson had died the day before at ‘Ouse Cottage’ the home of his son in law Edward Burris (husband of Frances Watson) He was recorded as being in his eightieth year and one of the oldest residents in the Ouse and Hamilton districts. On his death certificate he was described as a 79 year old farmer whose cause of death was gradual decay. His death was informed by his grandson John Burris.  No record shows where Richard was laid to rest but it is likely he was buried at Watson’s Marsh where his wife was buried. There is a brick with Richard’s name in Campbell Town, Tasmania in the Convict Brick Trail which commemorates our convict heritage.
One strange newspaper entry records the sale of Richard’s house and two other land lots in Ouse, in 1889, twenty five year after his death.  Richard had one son called Richard who lived in NSW, Australia before and after Richard seniors’ death and he was still alive in 1889. So who lived there in the interim and why did it take so long before they were sold?  Mr Alfred Harrex is listed on the sale notice as living in ‘a nice four roomed cottage’ on Lot 3, Alfred being married to Hannah’s niece Hannah Rachel (nee Burris) No resident is recorded in the six room house or two room cottage on Lot 1 where there was also a blacksmith’s shop.
Article from Rossendale Family History Society newsletter November 2012 included the following reference to Richard.
‘At Lancashire Assizes 16th January 1808 Elijah Moorhouse & Richard Watson were found guilty of a burglary at the house of Mr D. Lonsdale at Haslingden.  They were sentenced to death.  We can be certain that there was no memorial stone given in their memory.  Christopher Knowles who was charged at the same time seems to have been acquitted’.

Daphne McCartney
GGG granddaughter

Convict Changes History

Denis Pember on 1st March, 2016 made the following changes:

gender: m

Denis Pember on 2nd March, 2016 made the following changes:

date of birth: 1785 (prev. 0000), date of death: 23rd June, 1864 (prev. 0000)

Daphne McCartney on 12th July, 2016 made the following changes:

date of birth: 1788 (prev. 1785), crime

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