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Name, Aliases & Gender
Birth, Occupation & Death
|Date of Birth:
|Date of Death:
||29th July, 1861
life span was 60 years*
* Median life span based on contributions
Conviction & Transportation
Sentenced to 7 years
||Mayberry, Peter; Comp, Irish Convicts to NSW 1788-1849. (online database).
Sainty, Malcolm & Johnson, Keith; 1828 Census of New South Wales. Page 383, 222.
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Denis Pember on 16th February, 2016 wrote:
Hercules was tried in 1812 in Antrim and sentenced to 7 years transportation. He was transported aboard the ship Three Bees and was described as a carrier age 15, 5 feet 5 inches, fair-freckled complexion and sandy grey hair, native place Derry on arrival.
Denis Pember on 16th February, 2016 wrote:
In the colony, Hercules appears to have had a relationship with one Eleanor Chambers (nothing known) this was around 1815 and the couple had a daughter Louisa born 1817. Nothing has been located about Eleanor at all, however by about 1822, Hercules was with Mary Kennedy, the daughter of Hugh Kennedy (Convict, Three Bees, 1814). Hercules and Hugh probably met on the ship when being transported.
Denis Pember on 16th February, 2016 wrote:
Sainty & Johnson; 1828 Census of New South Wales:
[Ref W0567] Watts, Hercules, 32, free by servitude, 3B’s, 1814, 7 years, Protestant, Currier, Philip Street Sydney.
[Ref W0568] Watts, John, 3 and a half, born in the colony.
And on page 222…
[Ref K0521] Kennedy, Mary, 30, Cf, John Bull, 1821, Dressmaker and Housekeeper to Hercules Watts.
Hercules and Mary married in 1833, had three children; John 1825, Hercules 1828 and Louisa 1831. Mary died 14th April 1836.
Beth Kebblewhite on 23rd September, 2019 wrote:
Hercules Watt (or Watts) (c1799-1861)
Hercules Watt (?), arrived per ship Three Bees on 6 May 1814. He was sentenced at County Antrim, Ireland in Aug 1812, for 7 years transportation. He was from Derry (Londonderry), aged 15, a currier (tanner), 5’5” tall, fair freckled complexion, with sandy hair & grey eyes.
1815 - Ellen CHAMBERS, Brox, con, off stores, to Rev Vale, Sydney (7160)
Ellen Chambers married Hercules Watt (?) on 16 Sep 1815 at St Philips C of E, Sydney, by banns. (Hercules Watt, aged 28, Bachelor, Abode: Sydney, Currier, Signed X; & Eleanor Chambers, aged 30, Spinster, Abode: Sydney, Signed; married 16 Sep 1815, registered St Philips Church of England Sydney by Banns by William Cowper, Assistant Chaplain; Witness: Lindsey Nimo, Signed; Witness: Thomas Taber, Signed. Source: St Philip’s Church of England, Sydney NSW: Church Register - Marriages; ML ref: Reel SAG 90 & V1815-1826-3A)
1817, 15 Oct. – Hercules Watt was tried by Rev Marsden on 13 Oct & sentenced to 1 year at Newcastle. He was sent on the ship Elizabeth Henrietta. (Source: SRNSW Col Sec Papers, Letters Sent 6005; 4/3497 p103
1819, 18 Feb. – Hercules was tried by D’Arcy Wentworth & sentenced on 2 Feb to Newcastle for 1 year per Lady Nelson. He gave his occupation as currier. (Source: SRNSW Col Sec Papers, Letters Sent Reel 6006; 4/3499 p325)
1819, 19 March – Hercules did not arrive at Newcastle, when he was sent! (Source: SRNSW Col Sec Papers, Letters Received Reel 6067; 4/1807 p19)
1820, 15 March – Hercules, of Newcastle, claimed the expiration of his original sentence. He said he came per Prince of Orange [should be Three Bees]. (Source: SRNSW Col Sec Papers, Letters Sent Reel 6007; 4/3501 p312)
1821, 15 Sept. - “The undersigned, do hereby Caution all Persons from giving Trust or Credit, on my Account, to my Wife, Eleanor Watts, formerly Eleanor Chambers she having abandoned her home without just cause or provocation :-And I do hereby further caution all Persons from harbouring or concealing the said Eleanor Watts, on pain of prosecution for the offence, Hercules Watts.” (Source: Sydney Gazette, 15/09/1821, p4 & similar notice on 13/10/1821, p4)
1822, Oct. – Eleanor petitioned for mitigation of her sentence. She stated that after her arrival, she married a man & lived with him quite happily while he was a prisoner, for 6 years. But as soon as he gained his freedom, he took up with other women & made false reports about her to the Courts. She had twice ended up at Newcastle because of him & now begged for her freedom. (Source: SRNSW Col Sec Papers, Letters Received Reel 6056; 4/1763 pp281-2)
Eleanor CHAMBERS, con, Brox, 14 years (?), govt employ, Newcastle (A0524)
1) Elenor (sic) CHAMBERS, con, Brox, 14 years (?), govt employ, Sydney (15343)
2) Elenor (sic) WATTS, con, Brox, 14 years, FF, Parra (44549) [second entry]
Hercules WATTS, FS, Three Bees 1814, 7 years, housekeeper, Sydney (44458)
1823, 15 Oct. – Hercules Watts per ship 3 Bees, was listed as being admitted to Sydney Gaol on 15/10/1823 & bailed the following day, crime/charge not stated but it was a matter before the Criminal Court. (Source: SRNSW Gaol Description and Entrance Books, 1818-1930; Series: 2514; Item: 4/6360; Roll: 850.)
1823, 18 Dec. – “GOLD SEALS LOST-One large Seal with a crystal stone, engraven with Hindostanee characters ; one Seal, red cornelian, engraven with a man’s bust, and a star on the shoulder ; one small Seal, with the hoop broken and engraven with the initials, H. W. K. The Seals, above described, are supposed to have been taken from the House of Hercules Watts, in Phillip-street, a Tanner, in the employ of Mr. Simeon Lord, on Friday last, the 12th Instant.- Whoever will bring all or any one or more of the said Seals to Mr. Michael Robinson, at the Police Office, shall receive double the Value of the Property recovered ; and, if they were stolen, any Person giving such Information, as may lead to the Conviction of the Offender, shall receive the like Consideration, of double the Value of the said three Seals.” (Source: Sydney Gazette, 18/12/1823, p2S)
1825, 13 Jan. – Hercules wrote to Gov Brisbane stating that it was NOT his intention to sell his town allotment. (Source: SRNSW Col Sec Papers, Memorial Fiche 3160; 4/1844C p11)
Hercules WATTS, 32, FS, Three Bees 1814, 7 years, prot, currier, Phillip St, Sydney (W0567)
1828, 24 Dec. – “NOTICE. IF Elizabeth Richardson does not call at my House, No. 57 Phillip-street, and pay the Sum which is due to me, the undersigned, for Board and Lodging, her Goods, which I have had in my Possession for these 2 Years past, will be Sold by Public Auction, in 14 Days after this Notice, to defray the Expenses. HERCULES WATTS, No. 57, Phillip-street.” (Source: Sydney Gazette, 24/12/1828, p3)
1834, 9 Jan. – Hercules was a witness at a forgery trial against Edward Walsh “…Mr. Hercules Watt being sworn, said I am a tanner and householder residing in Phillip-street – I have known the prisoner for twenty years, and have always considered him an honest man ; he had it in his power to do fraud me a short time of £150, if he had been inclined, but he did not do so ; I had paid him that sum beforehand, as consideration for a house which I purchased of him ; I afterwards found that a question respecting the ownership of this house was pending in the Supreme Court; I had no receipt for the money, but the prisoner afterwards honestly put me in possession of the premises.” (Source: Sydney Gazette, 09/01/1834, p2)
1861, 10 Jan. - “THE TURKISH BATH.-In the course of a conversational discussion, at the Temperance Hall, last evening, one of our oldest colonists, Mr. Hercules Watt, in alluding to the beneficial results which he had experienced from the Turkish Bath, bore the following testimony to its efficacy as a health preserving agent. – “ I wore flannels for a period of forty years,” said Mr. Watt, and was continually suffering from cold. I took to the Bath, threw off the flannels, and have never since been ailing.’’ We mention this circumstance, not only for the benefit of those who purpose testing the virtues of the bath, but because it is a common notion with the humbler classes that once the practice of wearing flannel next the skin is adopted it can never be got rid of with safety. The experiment of Mr. Watt we take it is a sufficient proof to the contrary.” (Source: SMH, 10/01/1861, p5)
1861, 30 July – “On the 29th instant, at his residence, Phillip-street North, after a long and painful illness, which he bore with Christian fortitude, Mr. Hercules Watt, an old and respected citizen, aged 67 years.” (Source: SMH, 30/07/1861, p1). Also - “DEATHS. WATT- at his residence, Phillip-street, North, after a long and painful illness, which he bore with Christian fortitude, Hercules Watt, an old and much respected citizen, aged 67 years.” (Source: Empire, 30/07/1861, p1)
It seems probable that Eleanor died between 1825 & 1828, but no record of her burial has been found.
There are records of children born to Hercules & a lady named as Mary Kennedy between 1823-1831.
1861 - “On the 29th instant, at his residence, Phillip-street North, after a long and painful illness, which he bore with Christian fortitude, Mr. Hercules Watt, an old and respected citizen, aged 67 years.” (Source: SMH, 30/07/1861, p1). Also - “DEATHS. WATT- at his residence, Phillip-street, North, after a long and painful illness, which he bore with Christian fortitude, Hercules Watt, an old and much respected citizen, aged 67 years.” (Source: Empire, 30/07/1861, p1). Also - Hercules Watt, aged 67 of Phillip St, died on 29 July 1861 & the service was held at the C of E Newtown. (Source: NSW Church Parish Register, V1861-9604-122)
From the book “Journey to a New Life…” the story of the ships Emu & Broxbornebury by Elizabeth Hook (3rd ed. 2014). I am the author & can be contacted on email@example.com for further info
Convict Changes History
Denis Pember on 16th February, 2016 made the following changes:
convicted at, term: 7 years, voyage, source: Mayberry, Peter; Comp, Irish Convicts to NSW 1788-1849. (online database).
Sainty, Malcolm & Johnson, Keith; 1828 Census of New South Wales. Page 383, 222. (prev. ), firstname: Hercules, surname: Watt, alias1:
Beth Kebblewhite on 23rd September, 2019 made the following changes:
alias1: Watts, date of death: 29th July, 1861 (prev. 1861)