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Thomas Wells, one of 300 convicts transported on the Baring, April 1815
Name, Aliases & Gender
Birth, Occupation & Death
|Date of Birth:
||29th August, 1799
|Date of Death:
life span was 56 years*
* Median life span based on contributions
Conviction & Transportation
Sentenced to Life
7th September, 1815
|Place of arrival
||New South Wales
Travelled with 300 other convicts
||Australian Joint Copying Project. Microfilm Roll 87, Class and Piece Number HO11/2, Page Number 204
||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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Michael Stuart on 2nd January, 2016 wrote:
Originally sentenced to death. Sentence commuted to life transportation
Phil Hands on 22nd November, 2017 wrote:
Thomas was tried and convicted at the Old Bailey on 11th January 1815 for stealing a looking glass, value 35 s. the property of John Goring. he was sentenced to death but later the sentence was commuted to transportation for life. His occupation at the time was a labourer.
Left England on 20th May 1815.
Ship:- the ‘Baring’ sailed with 300male convicts on board of which 2 died during the voyage.
Arrived on 7th September 1815.
On the ships Indent he was shown as being given “Life”, and was aged 17 years. Description - Complexion, Florid - Height, 5’4” - Hair, Light Brown - Eyes, Hazel. Offence - Burglary.
Thomas addressed a letter on 10th July 1826 to the Superintendent of the Female Factory at Parramatta as follows:
‘I reside at Lower Portland Head, and hold 20 acres of land, which I cultivate for my own support, I am a bachelor, I enjoy the indulgence of a Ticket of Leave and I am in for a wife and pray the indulgence to be allowed to select one from the Factory at Parramatta. I will adieu. Your most obedient, very humble servant,
Thomas (his X mark) Wells’
The letter was accompanied by two supporting letters written by Archibald Bell who was a military officer and magistrate and the other was from John Grono who was a mariner and ship owner who also had substantial land holdings in the Hawkesbury region.
Martha Shaw () was chosen, and Thomas was given permission to marry on 12th September 1826 at Parramatta. Rev. Samuel Marsden officiated with witnesses - James Buckley & Margaret Kelley who were both of Parramatta, Thomas & Martha had 7 children between 1828-1842.
Martha later separated from her family at Wollombi and took up with a James Crawley. They had a son James, born 1845, died 1849, at Wollombi.
Old Bailey Trial Transcription.
Reference Number: t18150111-57
178. THOMAS WELLS was indicted for feloniously stealing on the 29th of December , a looking glass, value 35 s. the property of John Goring , and ETIZABETH PARKER , for feloniously receiving, on the same day, the said glass, she knowing it to be stolen .
JOHN GORING. I keep a brokers shop . On Thursday, the 29th of December about half past four in the afternoon. I lost a looking-glass out of the shop.
Q. What was the value of this looking glass - A. Thirty five shillings. I saw the glass the next day at Bow Street.
Q. Who shewed it you there - A. Mr. Jacobs’s; that glass that I saw at Bow Street was the glass that I had taken out of my shop.
JOHN JACOBS . I am a cabinet maker. On the 29th of December, at half after eight o’clock, the woman prisoner knocked at my door, and asked to speak to Mr. Jacobs; the servant answered at the door she is within; I said walk in; when she came in, she said she had brought a glass to sell, for a woman that was very unwell; I asked her how long she had had it; she said she had it a twelvemonth; I then said this glass has not been compleatly finished a month; she replied if I did not like to buy it to give it her back again; I said the glass had not been hung up a twelvemonth, glasses that have, have always dust on the back of them. I then asked her how she could knock at my door, and ask me to buy a looking glass; she said that she was sent by a person at Temple bar, that said I was in want of a looking glass; I detained the glass. I went myself to the office; I told her to bring the person who belonged to it, and while she was gone I went to the office; I brought Mr. Upton the officer, home with me, he had not been in doors above half an hour when a knock came to the door the door was opened, and in came the woman, with an elderly man; she said this is the man that belongs to the glass; I said do you claim it as your property; he said he did, the officer told him it was stolen property, he then said it was not his property, he was authorized by the woman to come and claim it, and then he should have it; he then said it was not his, he knew nothing about it, he was to come and claim it as his property. Being an elderly man, the officer asked him how he came to claim it; he said he was employed by the two prisoners to come and claim it; the woman prisoner said she would point out the two thieves. We lodged the pie-man in the watchhouse; the officer and I went with the woman, into Charles-street, Drury-lane, there she pointed out two little boys; one of these little boys went with the officer, to shew him where the thief had done the robbery; I knew nothing about the prisoner Wells.
JOHN UPTON . I received the information of Jacobs, I went to his home, and waited near half an hour; his evidence is correct.
THOMAS BURTON . I am a printer, I live with Mr. Stone, in Berwick-street; I am thirteen years old.
Q. Do you remember the 29th of December last - A. Yes; I met Thomas Wells in Earl-street; he said he was going of an errand for his master, it was about five o’clock; he asked me and John Smith to go with him; I went with him to the corner of Litchfield-street on his master’s errand, and when he returned he brought this glass with him.
Q. Now, look at the glass, is that the glass that he brought with him - A. It is; he said his mother was ill, and he wanted to dispose of it; he said he knew a place where to sell it, if we would go with him; we went with him into Charles-street, Drury-lane, and then he and the woman at the bar went out with it. That is all I know.
JOHN SMITH . On the 29th of December, I was with the last witness, we met with the prisoner Wells; he asked us to go with him; we went with him, he left us, and when he returned he brought this looking glass with him. I afterwards went into Charles Street, Drury Lane; I saw him go out of a house with a woman with the glass.
Well’s Defence. He is telling false.
Parker’s Defence. He brought the glass to me; he said his mother was ill; and wanted to dispose of the glass; he asked me to sell the glass for him, and he would shew me where to sell it; I ignorant of his character, and unsuspecting, out of good nature, took the glass to sell. I have been drawn into my present situation by Wells; he told me his mother was sick and destitute; I consented to sell the glass; I did not know it was stolen.
Wells called one witness, who gave him a good character.
Parker called one witness, who gave her a good character.
WELLS, GUILTY - DEATH , aged 16.
PARKER, GUILTY , aged 17.
Confined 1 year , and fined 1 s.
Second Middlesex jury, before Mr. Justice Dallas.
Convict Changes History
Michael Stuart on 2nd January, 2016 made the following changes:
date of birth: 29th August, 1799 (prev. 0000), gender: m, crime
Phil Hands on 22nd November, 2017 made the following changes:
convicted at, date of death: 1881 (prev. 0000), occupation, crime