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George Wells, one of 220 convicts transported on the Lord Eldon, April 1817
Name, Aliases & Gender
Birth, Occupation & Death
|Date of Birth:
|Date of Death:
life span was 56 years*
* Median life span based on contributions
Conviction & Transportation
Sentenced to Life
||Middlesex Gaol Delivery
30th September, 1817
|Place of arrival
||New South Wales
Travelled with 219 other convicts
||Australian Joint Copying Project. Microfilm Roll 88, Class and Piece Number HO11/2, Page Number 331 (167)
||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 20th December, 2019 wrote:
Old Bailey Proceedings Online (http://www.oldbaileyonline.org, version 8.0, 20 December 2019), December 1816, trial of GEORGE WELLS WILLIAM QUINLAND WILLIAM SMITH (t18161204-42).
GEORGE WELLS, WILLIAM QUINLAND, WILLIAM SMITH, Theft > burglary, 4th December 1816.
45. GEORGE WELLS , WILLIAM QUINLAND , and WILLIAM SMITH , were indicted for burglariously breaking and entering the dwelling-house of Charles Cholmondeley , Esq. about five in the night of 21st of November, with intent to steal, and stealing therein one table, value 10s.; six chairs, value 40s.; five hats, value 5s.; a set of bed-furniture, value 5s.; and three yards of silk, value 1s. the property of the said Charles Cholmondeley , Esq.
CHARLES CHOLMONDELEY , Esq. I live at No. 4, Cleveland-square, St. James’s ; I left my house about June last, and went into the country, the key of the street-door was left with Mrs. French, who had the care of my house. I returned to town about a fortnight ago, in consequence of information which I received from Mr. French; I intended to return to reside in that house again. I have been robbed to the amount of two or three hundred pounds.
ALICE FRENCH . I am the wife of George French. In the month of June I had the keys of Mr. Cholmondeley’s house; I went from time to time to look at the house; I went on Thursday, the 21st of November, about eleven o’clock in the morning, I had been about five weeks before, and my husband has been since; I did not see any thing amiss on the outside, the windows were all shut and the shutters to; when I got in I found some fire-irons in the hall, and that the house had been robbed of a great deal of property. I went and got my husband and one of the lodgers to accompany me; I was there with Nichols. The table was in the drawing-room and the chairs in the dining-parlour in the morning; the bed-furniture and some hats were on the great landing, and there was some silk on the ground-floor belonging to the book-case. I went with Mr. Wellet, a little after five o’clock, and walked about the door; I observed the prisoner, Smith, standing close to the Duke of Cumberland’s wall, and passed him. In the course of a little time I saw him near Mr. Cholmondely’s door, he then went away, and I saw him come round the corner of Cleveland-court, and go up to the door, as if he was going into it. I observed a man with a porter’s knot, very near the house, go round by the Marquis of Stafford’s stables, he had the knot under his arm, a light coat on, and a green baize apron; I saw him walk round by the Marquis of Stafford’s stables, which comes round by Mr. Cholmondeley’s door - I did not see him afterwards there was no thoroughfare. I did not see the other man until he was taken; I went away, and when I returned I saw the door broken open - I then went in. The table and chairs which I had seen in the morning were removed into the hall, with the hats and bed-furniture, they were packed up in a green baize, and a porter’s knot was in the hall, on the table, the prisoners were in custody, I saw all three of them at the suttling-house; I knew Smith, and the other was dressed exactly the same as the man I saw in the street with the knot. I have every reason to believe that he is the same person. It was very dark.
Q. Did you find any thing in the house which had not been there in the morning - A. A dark-lanthorn was found there, which was not there in the morning.
Cross-examined by MR. ANDREWS. You had not been to the house for sometime-A. About five weeks before; no person lived in the house - I kept the key. It was a few minutes after five o’clock when I first went to watch. I did not see Smith directly, he was standing still when Ipassed him, with his face towards the railing; I had no opportunity of seeing his face at that time; I saw him twice. I am certain, by his dress, that he is the same person.
Q. Then it is by his dress that you speak to him - A. From his dress and height, more than from his face.
Cross-examined by MR. ADOLPHUS. How far were you from Wells - A. A very little way. If I had stopped I could not have seen his face by the light of the day. I could see the colour of his dress as I passed him.
Q. Without the light of the lamp you could see colours, why could you not see features as well - A. Features are more difficult to see than colours; the lamps were alight.
GEORGE FRENCH . The keys of Mr. Cholmondeley’s house were sent to my house. On the 21st of November my wife went there, and I followed her; I saw that the things were taken away which I had left safe ten days before; I went to Bow-street, Nichols came to me, and we went and looked over the house together. I was there in the evening.
Q. What time did you leave in the morning-A. About three o’clock in the afternoon.
Q. Were the chairs and tables in the hall then - A. No; I returned in the evening. We had left the shutters in the same manner as we found them. One of them had been forced, and a bar was found under the windows; all the other shutters were fastened. There was a patent lock of Bramali’s taken off the door, and another lock on the door which we left locked; I returned in the evening and came down to a post to meet Nichols; I gave him the keys, and he desired me to wait there while he went for assistance. I do not know whether he saw any person go in; Wilders came back with him; he put the key into the door; I was close to the door - He found it fast on the inside; Nichols and Wilders forced it and went in. They had lights. The men had made their escape out at the top of the house. I did not see the prisoners until they were at the suttling-house.
Q. Did you see any difference in the hall when you were there - A. The chairs and table were tied up, and the bed-curtains and hats were in the green cloth, and the porter’s knot by the side of them. I saw the prisoner, Quinland, examined; a piece of silk was found on him, which I had seen in the house in the morning.
WILLIM NICHOLS. I am an officer of Bow-street; in consequence of information which I received, I went to Mr. Cholmondeley’s house, about half past two o’clock. I gave directions to watch.
Q. What time did you go in the evening - A. About five o’clock. I observed the prisoner, Smith, standing at the corner of the Lord Chamberlains Office, which is nearly opposite the door. I went further on, and passed Wells and Quinland; Wells had a porter’s knot, and an apron on. I was in disguise. I got behind the pillar of the Lord Chamberlains office, and I saw Smith go to the door; he was close against it, with his face towards it. I was not near enough to observe him do any thing. He went away, and in a few minutes returned again, went up to the door, with his face towards it; he then walked away, and the other two prisoners crossed over to the door. I lost sight of them. Smith went away, and I was obliged to go, for fear of being seen. I ran through Palace-yard, and went round into Cleveland-square. I then told French and Wilders to go away. Smith returned; went to the door, watched a few minutes, and then walked towards St. James’s-street. I followed him, laid hold of him, and said where are you going. He said that he was going home; that he had just come from Westminster, and had been drinking with some Molls, and told me not to tell his wife.
Court. You knew him then - A. Perfectly well. I told him that he was my prisoner, and must go back with me; he said that he had got nothing about him. I took him to the Suttling-house, and returned to the house. I got some assistance; I listened at the door, and heard a noise, as if things were being removed down stairs. I told my assistants to remain at the door, for their coming out. During this time the door was opened a little way from within, but immediately shut to. I took the key from French; I tried it, and the bolt was immediately closed. I heard a noise like running up stairs. There was a cry in the street, that they were escaping out at the garret window. I desired the Marquis of Stafford’s porter to tell the neighbours to watch them. I forced the door, and followed them up stairs. I was followed by some soldiers, we went from roof to roof. The garret windows, were open and broken. After passing over several roofs, the prisoner, Quinland, rose up close to me. I took him into custody, and Ashworth took Wells by my direction. I asked Quinland where he was; he said he must not tell. Quinland said, I know Nichols, and will go with him any where; I must answer for what I have done. I secured him, and found a piece of silk in his hat. I found the articles mentioned in the indictment in the ball: a porter’s knot lay by the things; they were packed ready to be carried away. I am sure that the men who were taken on the roof, are the same that I saw walking about.
Cross-examined by MR. ADOLPHUS. There were a great many people collected.
Q. When you opened the door some persons might get in, whom you did not see - A. They might; I did not see them go in.
Q. Among the persons who went in, might not the prisoners be two-A. No; I am sure they were not. I gave directions to the porter, and looked into the parlour, before I went up stairs.
Court. How long did you see the men before the door was opened - A. It might he half an hour.
THOMAS WILDERS. I was upon the watch that night.
PETER ASHWORTH. I am in the guards, on the 21st of November, I went to the top of the house and took Wells into custody, he was laid down in a gutter.
(Lanthorn and silk produced.)
MRS. FRENCH. This is the lanthorn which I found in the house; and this is the silk. I have looked at the hats, and other things; they are Mr. Cholmondeley’s.
Smith’s Defence. I know nothing about it; I was taken about one hundred yards from the house; Nichols took me into custody; I had been to drink a pot of beer with a friend.
Wells’s Defence. I had been to Pimlico. I ran to the top of the house; was walking about, I saw a man, he said, I was the thief, and brought me down.
Quniland’s Defence. I was coming along with theother prisoner; I went in and met Nichols at the top of the house. He said that I was one, and took me into custody.
G. WELLS. GUILTY - DEATH . Aged 38.
W. SMITH. GUILTY - DEATH . Aged 29.
W. QUINLAND. GUILTY - DEATH . Aged 25.
Second Middlesex Jury, before Mr. Justice Bayley.