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Richard Watts

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

Name, Aliases & Gender

Name: Richard Watts
Aliases: none
Gender: m

Birth, Occupation & Death

Date of Birth: 1792
Occupation: Servant
Date of Death: -
Age: -

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: Stealing a sheep
Convicted at: Old Bailey
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 429 (214)
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

Diane Sullivan on 15th February, 2016 wrote:

Richard Watts
1792–1878 buried st Peters cemetery richmond nsw
wife married 11 July 1823
Eleanor Tomlinson
William Cribb Watts
James Andrew Watts
George Francis Watts
Mary Ann Watts
Eliza Jane Watts
Richard Henry Watts

D Wong on 15th February, 2016 wrote:

Richard Watts was a servant at Joseph Grimaldi’s cottage, when he was arrested on 31st March 1809 for stealing a sheep from the common.
Richard was recorded as being 17 years old at the time of his trial.

1814 Muster: recorded as being at the Hospital, not clear whether he was employed there or there as a patient.

1817: Was one of the party who took horses and provisions to the Lachlan River depot, on 25th April.

1818: Listed as a labourer to accompany the 1818 expedition down the Macquarie River.

1/12/1818: CP

Phil Hands on 20th November, 2017 wrote:

Tried and convicted at the Old Bailey on 17th May 1809 for stealing a sheep valued at 10 shillings, sentenced to death but with a recomendation for mercy due to his age and previous good character this was commuted to transportation for life, he was 17 years old.
Left England in 1809.
Ship:- the ‘Anne II’ sailed with 200 male convicts on board of which 3 died during the voyage.
Arrived on 27th February 1810.

In the 1814 Muster, Richard is recorded as being at a Hospital however it is not clear whether he was employed there or there as a patient. Whatever his position he was certainly fit in 1817 when he was one of the party who took horses and provisions to the Lachlan River depot, on 25th April. He received an issue of shoes as reward for his labours.
His efforts did not go unnoticed. In January of the following year he was listed as a labourer to accompany the 1818 expedition down the Macquarie River. Also listed, as a labourer, was Thomas Cribb, who arrived with Richard aboard Anne, in 1810. Thomas was replaced on the expedition however the two men remained friends. Thomas married Ann Jones at St Matthew’s C of E Windsor in 1821 and later shared the cost of a pew at St.Peter’s C of E Richmond with Richard and his wife Eleanor. The bond was so close that Richard named their first born William Cribb Watts.
As the labourer Richard would have been required to turn his hand to everything, a jack of all trades. One task would have been the setting up and taking down of the tent, which was used by Oxley during fine weather and shared by the whole party during rain. He also shared in the carrying of the boat from the beach to the Manning River estuary and from there to Port Stephens; a task which brought glowing praise from Oxley and a Conditional Pardon from Governor Macquarie.

Richard made the most of his freedom and in the 1822 Muster, was recorded as Landholder-Windsor where he was successfully farming his 10 acres:- 5 acres under wheat / 4 acres under maize / 1 acre under barley - 1 horse, 4 horned cattle, 30 hogs - 100 bushels maize in storage and assisted by assigned convict, George Freke who had arrived aboard Coromandel.
In the same Muster convict Eleanor Tomlinson (‘Wanstead’ 1814) was recorded at, ‘Factory’, this being the Female Factory at Parramatta. The first Female factory was built in 1804 a single room , about 60 feet by 20 feet, with a fireplace at one end, where the women cooked. Here the women worked at making rope and carding wool;

Richard and Eleanor married on 11th June 1823 at Richmond Bottoms in the Hawkesbury District of New South Wales, they had 6 children between 1824-1836.

Eleanor died on 16th May 1858 at Richmond age 71.
Richard died on 17th June 1878 also at Richmond age 86.

Phil Hands on 20th November, 2017 wrote:

Old Bailey Trial Transcription.

450. RICHARD WATTS was indicted for feloniously stealing on the 31st of March , a sheep, value 10 s. the property of William Matthews .
WILLIAM MATTHEWS , I live at Coneyhath, I am a labouring man .
Q. Did you keep any sheep on Finchley common - A. I keep about twenty or thirty; sometimes more and sometimes less.
Q. Sometimes before the 31st of March did you miss any sheep - A. Yes; one sheep from the common; I missed it several days before I heard of it; I found it at the Red Lion, at Mr. Claridge’s.
Q. Do you recollect when that was - A. No; I cannot say that I took particular account of it; they had got all the skins there when I found my skin; I saw it Hatton Garden, and I swore to the mark of it.
Q. What do you mean by saying it was at Mr. Claridge’s - A. It was there then.
Mr. Bolland. You do not know that.
COURT. You saw it first at the police office in Hatton Garden - A. Yes.
Q. Can you tell me as near as you can what time that was - A. No, I did not set it down; I came up when the other gentleman came up.
Q. How do you usually mark your sheep - A. Of the near side with a pitch mark, W. M. both the letters were alike; you can make a W. M. with the brand this way or other; it was made on purpose because I should know it.
Q. Did you see any skins so marked at Hatton-garden - A. Yes, and that I swore to it there, and there is a reddle mark from the neck down to the chine, and then crossed; that is marked with oker and oil.
Q. Had the skin that you saw at Hatton-garden that mark with oker as well as W. M. - A. Yes.
Q. Was the sheep that you lost a ewe or a wether - A. It was a pug lamb; a yearling ewe; to the best of my knowledge it was a ewe lamb.
Q. Are you sure that at the time you saw this skin it was one of your sheep - A. Yes.
Q. Do you know the prisoner at the bar - A. No; I might have seen him on the common; I took no notice of him till I saw him at Hatton Garden.
Mr. Bolland. The initials of any man, W. M. would mark it the same way - A. No; there is no other name on the common marked like that.
Q. I will ask you, whether there were any marks at all upon this skin - A. Yes; when I saw it the marks were visible and distinct, the pitch marks and likewise the reddle and oil.
THOMAS KIRBY. I live nigh the seven mile stone on Finchley common; some time the first week in April the prisoner came to my house.
Q. Had you known him before - A. Yes; he is a servant to Mr. Grimaldi; he asked me if I knew any body that bought sheep skins; I told him I did; he said he had two or three to dispose of; I saw the person that did buy them. I never saw the skins till I saw them at Hatton-garden office.
Q.What was his name that purchased them - A. Goodall.
Q. I suppose you told Goodall - A. Yes; the next thing was, the constable came to my house and informed me that Goodall had bought six. It was on a Friday the first week in April that I told Goodall.
Q. Then the next Saturday the constable came to you - A No; I understood they were purchased on the Saturday; the constable came to me in the week after he was apprehended; I told the prisoner I would send a person to buy the skins.
Q. When did you see the prisoner - A. Not till I saw him at Hatton-garden.
Q. What passed then - A. I told the same exactly as I told you, I believe.
JOHN GOODALL . I am a breeches maker, a fellmonger, and a dealer in skins and wool.
Q. Do you remember Kirby mentioning to you that there was a man wanted to sell some skins - A. On the 2nd of April I was at the Red Lion at Finchley; Kirby was then there; he asked me if I bought skins, I told him I did; he then told me if I went to Mr. Grimaldi, his servant had got some to sell; I went on the 8th of April, I saw the prisoner in the garden, I asked him if he had got any skins to sell; he asked me if I belonged to the boy that collected skins; I told him no, I was sent there by the shoemaker that lived near the Green Man (that is Kirby); he then took me into Mr. Grimaldi’s chaise-house.
Q. Is Mr. Grimaldi’s house on the common - A. Yes. He then set a ladder up, he went into a hayloft, and while he was in the loft I heard him say he had six skins; he began to throw them down out of his loft, and throwed them all down; I looked at them as he threw them down; he came down the ladder; I asked him if they did not keep a good many sheep here, seeing so many different sorts, some Welsh, some Southdown, and some Dorsets; he then said that his master bought many different lots of sheep; I asked him who took the skins off, they appeared to be taken off very indifferently, which I told him; he told me he took this skin off the day before yesterday; then I looked at a small lamb’s skin, he told me it was a very small lamb and weak when it was lambed, he knocked it on the head, because it did not thrive, I then agreed with him for the skins for eight shillings altogether.
Q. Was that the price of six skins - A. Yes, such as they were, they were only pieces, small lambs some of them, with the heads cut off, and many holes cut in many of them; one lamb skin, and the rest were sheep nearly full grown; some of them Welch small sheep, and others of the larger kind. When I had agreed for the skins I was putting them together to bring them away; he wished me to have a sack to put the skins in, saying that I could carry them better than without a sack; I told him that I never made a practice of carrying skins in a sack; he pressed upon me again to have a sack, and that I might leave it at any time at Mr. Kirby’s; he gave me a sack, and I told him I would leave it at Mr. Grimaldi’s; he wished me not to do that, he did not wish his master to see any thing about it. I then took the skins and carried them to the Red Lion.
Q. Before you put any of the skins in the bag did you perceive that any of them had marks - A. All the skins had marks, and all different, except two; they were nearly alike, they belonged to Decamp.
Q. Did you see the letters of Decamp on them - A. I saw the reddle marks; some were marked with pitch marks; I did not look at them particular. I took the skins to the Red Lion and throwed them down in the yard; a shepherd came up of the name of Rose, I told him I had bought a lot of skins; he looked at them; the firsk skin that he looked at he said was Fitzwater’s.
Mr. Bolland. You must not tell what he said in consequence of what passed between you and the shepherd - what did you do with the skins - A. After he looked them all over, I left the skins at a house just by, where I locked them up myself and carried the key back to a person of the name of Baldock; he was the person who lent me the key.
COURT. How long did they remain there - A. A few hours; I sent Rose to Decamp and Fitzwater; they did not come while I was there, that was on Saturday; the next week I was taken ill; I did not arrive at Finchley till the Saturday following; then they had taken the skins and the man to Hatton-Garden. I saw them at Hatton-Garden.
Q. Can you take upon yourself to swear that the skins that you saw at Hatton-Garden, or any of them, were the skins that you bought of the prisoner - A. Yes, the whole of them; them six are those that I bought of the prisoner; I know them by the look of the skins, being bred and born to the business; if I look at a thing once or twice, I know them immediately for seven years.
Q. Among those that you saw at Hatton-Garden, did you see this little lamb - A. Yes; it was not a little lamb, it was what they call a cuckoo lamb; they had all marks on them; it was the 17th that I went to Hatton-Garden, the Monday sen’night after I bought them. On Sunday the 16th I went to Finchley. Mr. Grimaldi sent down to the Red Lion that there was a discovery of some meat; the officer of Finchley went with me to Mr. Grimaldi; we went into the hayloft, we found a sack under some loose hay.
Q. Was that the same loft from which the prisoner had thrown down the skins - A. No, it was another loft, I believe there was only a partition between, there was two doors, one went in one way and the other another way; both the lofts are over an out house of Grimaldi’s; we there found a sack, and two legs, two shoulders, part of the scrag of a neck, and some part of a back.
Q. Were they cut up as a butcher would cut up - A. No; the sheep appeared not to be chined down; they were not cut as a butcher would cut them.
Q. Then that part of the back was not cut like a saddle of mutton - A. No, there was only a part of the back and a part of the aitchbone.
Q. Either part, the bones and flesh you mean, I suppose - A. Yes. We then brought it down from his house; we went immediately to Mr. Bacon, of Colney Hatch, we asked him if he should bring the meat to Hatton-Garden, he said no, as the meat was in a bad state, which it really was; the next day, after the examination was over, Mr. Turton desired me to go to Finchley, and pick out the skin that I thought the meat belonged to; I picked it out; the skin was marked with a reddle mark. It belonged to Fitzwater.
Q. Did you see Matthews at Hatton-Garden on Monday - A. Yes; I saw all the owners of the skins on the Monday.
Q. Did you observe any of these owners pick out skins that they claimed - A. Yes; I saw Matthews pick out a skin that he claimed as his own. Matthews’ was the lamb skin, that he owned; called the cuckoo lamb.
Q. Had Mr. Grimaldi any other servants but the prisoner - A. I saw nobody else there but the prisoner, when I bought the skins.
Q. You do not know whether Mr. Grimaldi kept any sheep on the common, do you - A. I know no more than seeing two skins that Mr. Grimaldi claimed, one he was sure to.
Mr. Bolland. You say you was bred and born to this business, and if you saw a skin once or twice, you should know it again for seven years - A. I was brought up a breeches maker, and fellmonger; I should know it again if it was not altered for seven years.
Q. Have you not gone by the name of Johnson - A. I have been called Johnson; I was victorious in the florist line; by some people I was called a Johnson; I was the first florist in the known land.
Q. You gave eight shillings for these skins - A. Yes.
Q. They had the wool on - A. Yes; they were a good deal disfigured, or they would be worth more.
Q. I suppose at the time you bought them, you supposed they belonged to Mr. Grimaldi - A. I did; he told me his master had bought different lots of sheep.
Q. I suppose there were no particular marks that led you to believe the boy came dishonestly by the sheep - A. At the time I thought it was odd he should have so many different sorts.
Q. If you had suspected him, would you have bought them - A. I do not suppose I should, if I had known them to be stolen, I should never have bought them.
Q. This mutton you found up stairs - this was ten days after you bought the skins - A. No, eight days; I look upon it that the mutton had not been killed less than ten or twelve days.
WILLIAM ROSE. I am a shepherd.
Q. Tell me what you know about Matthews’ sheep - A. I was going to my labour, past the Red Lion at Finchley, on the 8th of April; the man who bought the skins called to me, asked me if I would have part of a pint of beer with him.
Q. You drank some beer with Goodall, did you - A. Yes; as we had drank the beer, he went and fetched me a skin, it was Fitzwater’s skin, I knew it; then we went out; I looked at another, it had Decamp’s mark very plain; I did not examine the others, till I let Fitzwater and Decamp know; afterwards I examined the others on the Sunday following, at the Red Lion at Finchley.
Q. Upon this second examination of the skins, did you know any of the marks on the other skins - A. I did not, till they came and owned them; Mr. Milne came to the Red Lion and owned his skin, and Mr. Matthews came to Hatton-Garden; he looked at the skins, he owned his own skin. The skins were left at the office.
Mr. Bolland. You say the skins were left by Goodall at the Red Lion - A. Yes.
Q. You do not know that the skins that you saw there, were the skins that were brought by Goodall - A. Yes; three I am certain of.
Q. You do not know of the others - A. No, I cannot pretend to say; three of the skins are very remarkable; they were all reddle marked but one; three of them were pitched marked, and reddle marked both Some were so bad I could not see.
JOHN CLARIDGE . I am headborough of Finchley. On Sunday, I think the 9th of April, Mr. Fitzwater ordered me to go up to Mr. Grimaldi’s to take up a man; he asked him if he had sold the skins to this man, he said he did. I took him before Mr. Bacon. I, by the order of Mr. Bacon, locked him up for that night, and brought him to Hatton-Garden office the next day. I brought one skin only that day; I brought the rest on the Thursday following.
Q. What day of the month was that - A. The 13th I fancy; we brought five more on the Thursday following.
Q. Were did you get these skins from - A. We got four from the Red Lion; the other two we got from a small house below.
Q. Did you observe what the marks were of the two that you took from the small house - A. Yes.
Q. Do you know what were the marks - A. I did not then.
Q. Then you took two skins from the small house, and four from your brother’s at the Red Lion - A. Yes, at my brother’s house the people saw these two skins, they knew them; Matthews was not at the Red Lion when I brought them, and they looked at them.
Q. Were you at Hatton Garden when Matthews did look at them - A. Yes.
Q. When they were at Hatton-Garden, I suppose the six were all together, were they not - A. Yes.
Q. Do you remember Goodale looking at them at Hatton Garden - A. He looked at them on the Monday following.
Q. Did you observe whether Matthews picked out any one of these skins - A. I saw him pick out one, and claim it as his own. The skins were left at Hatton-Garden.
WILLIAM READ. I am a police officer of Hatton-Garden. I saw the skins at Hatton-Garden. I have had them ever since locked up.
Q. Did you see Goodall examine them - A. Yes.
Q. Did you see Matthews examine them - A. Yes; Matthews looked at his, and said it was his by the mark. This is the skin that Matthews claimed.
Q. to Matthews. Look at that skin, can you swear to that skin - A. Yes, there is the reddle round there, and here is the W. M.
Q. Is there any other person on the common that marks in that way - A. No.
WILLIAM MILNE . What is the difference between your mark and Matthew’s mark - A. Mine is a real W. M. that is two M’s, one reversed; this is reddle, and mine is not.
Q. Is there any mark of a W. M. there - A. It appears to me a W. M. the same as Mr. Matthews marks his, not in the same way that I mark.
JURY. We are not able to perceive the W. M. as described by Matthews - we would wish the shepherd to look at it, and to say if he could swear upon his oath that the W. M. is there.
COURT to Rose. Look at that sheep skin, and say whether you can see satisfactorily the mark of W. M. - A. I could not take my oath to the mark.
Q. to Milne. Can you see there any mark of a W. M. - A. I have no doubt but it is the same mark, but I cannot swear to it by this sky light; when I saw the skin at the Red Lion, the headborough called upon me and said it was mine; I examined the skin, I told the headborough that the skin belonged to Matthews; I saw the mark distinctly then, and I saw the mark distinctly before the magistrate; I cannot see the marks distinctly now; the skin; have been all over lime.
The prisoner left his defence to his counsel; called two witnesses, who gave him a good character.

GUILTY - DEATH , aged 17, this was later commuted to transportation for life,after the prisoner was recommended to his Majesty’s mercy by the jury on account of his youth and good character,

First Middlesex jury, before Mr. Baron Graham .

Convict Changes History

Diane Sullivan on 15th February, 2016 made the following changes:

date of birth: 1792 (prev. 0000), date of death: 1878 (prev. 0000), gender: m, crime

D Wong on 15th February, 2016 made the following changes:


Phil Hands on 20th November, 2017 made the following changes:

convicted at, date of death: 0000 (prev. 1878), crime

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