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Willm Geo Wells
Willm Geo Wells, one of 200 convicts transported on the Somersetshire, March 1814
Name, Aliases & Gender
||Willm Geo Wells
Birth, Occupation & Death
|Date of Birth:
|Date of Death:
life span was 55 years*
* Median life span based on contributions
Conviction & Transportation
Sentenced to 7 years
||Middlesex Gaol Delivery
16th October, 1814
|Place of arrival
||New South Wales
Travelled with 200 other convicts
||Australian Joint Copying Project. Microfilm Roll 87, Class and Piece Number HO11/2, Page Number 157 (80)
||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 2nd December, 2019 wrote:
Old Bailey Proceedings Online (http://www.oldbaileyonline.org, version 8.0, 02 December 2019), July 1813, trial of WILLIAM GEORGE WELLS (t18130714-4).
WILLIAM GEORGE WELLS, Theft > burglary, 14th July 1813.
690. WILLIAM GEORGE WELLS was indicted for burglariously breaking and entering the dwelling-house of Mary Smith , about the hour of ten, on the night of the 4th of April , and stealing therein six shirts, value 6 s. a shawl, value 18 d. two tablecloths, value 18 d. three handkerchiefs, value 3 s. three caps, value 3 s. a shift, value 1 s. two pieces of nankeen, value 18 s. a pair of stockings, value 3 s. three coats, value 6 s. an umbrella, value 2 s. a pair of drawers, value 3 s. a pair of pantaloons, value 3 s. and a waistcoat, value 6 d. the property of Charles Wright .
ANN WRIGHT . I live at 19, Great Pulteney-street, in the parish of St. James .
Q. How long have you known the prisoner - A. About twelve years.
Q. Did he come in April last to your house - A. Yes. He went to school with my son, and from that there was a family intimacy.
Q. He was suffered to come to your house - A. Yes; he was like one of my own family. I acted as a friend and mother to him always. On the 1st of April he came to me and mentioned that he was, very poor and low; that he had not eat any food. He asked me for three shillings. I got him something to take, and gave him a cup of tea. My friend gave him sixpence, and I got him three shillings; that was three shillings and sixpence. On Saturday morning, the 3d of April, he asked me could I take a letter for him. I said, I have children of my own; I will do it for you. I then went to my friends, and collected ten shillings for him, in charity. He came to me on Sunday, and took share of what I had; he dined with me; and on Sunday evening, the 4th of April, I was sent for to a friend. I told him he could not stay if I went. I had a son that was at church. I am in the habit of putting the key of my room, which is the garret, under the mat, for my son, or any of the family, to come in. I had not gone from my house half an hour when he returned back, and stripped me of all I had. He took all my things out of my trunk.
Q. What time did you go out - A. At half past eight o’clock. I returned about ten; it was dark.
Q. It was dark when you went out, was it not - A. It was between the dark and light; the moon was coming on. The day-light had ceased. When I returned I found the key in the place where I had left it, and the candlestick where I had left it, and when my son went to bed I found every thing that the trunk contained was gone, except some old rags at the bottom.
Q. Now tell me what you lost - A. A pair of new cotton sheets, two pieces of new nankeen, five pair of new cotton stockings, three or four pocket handkerchiefs, a tablecloth, a napkin, a bottle-green coat, a great coat, and a black coat, a pair of black pantaloons, a black waistcoat, a pair of cotton drawers, and sundry other articles; that is what were in the trunk; and in the bundle there were six shirts; they were old and bad ones; a night handkerchief, and several night and day caps, and one old shirt. They were my husband’s property: his name is Charles Wright .
Q. Have you seen any of these things since - A. Yes. I saw them on the 27th of April, in the prisoner’s lodgings. I there saw a bottle-green coat, a pair of drawers, and at the bottom of the same house, a chandler’s shop, she had given some other things for victuals. I there saw a coat, a pair of drawers, a night cap, and a bottle-green coat.
Q. No; the bottle-green coat you said you saw in his room - A. I made a mistake; it is in the same house.
Q. You saw a great coat in his room - A. Yes, and the black coat was in his room, and I think the black waistcoat, but not the pantaloons. The best part of the articles were not found, an umbrella and several other things. Humphreys was with me when I found the articles. He stopped the prisoner when he came home at night.
Prisoner. Mrs. Wright, had not you a knowledge that I had the things for three weeks before I was apprehended - A. I did. Suppose that, you was the robber.
Q. Did not you give me the things, or lend them me - A. I never gave them, or lent them you.
Q. Did not you send your eldest daughter to tell me not to say that you lent them me, and that if your husband knew it he would be the death of both - A. I never sent such a message. Such a message was never sent by me, or any of the family.
Q. Mrs. Wright, when we went out of your room about eight o’clock did not we go to the wine vaults, did not you then desire me to go home and take the things out - A. I did not.
Q. Did not you send your daughter, desiring her to give me that permission, and did not say that you had placed the key of the door under the mat of the landing-place - A. I never sent my daughter at all with any such message.
Q. Did not you request me to write a letter to you, which letter you might shew your husband, that he might see there was no intimacy between us - A. Never, nor never knew any thing of it.
Q. After I was taken to Newgate did not you, Mrs. Wright, write to me, requesting me to write again to you - A. I never did.
Q. I will now ask you whether you have any knowledge of any person calling on me on the 28th of last month, requesting me to write a letter to you, denying any knowledge of that which letter had fallen into your husband’s hands, and had caused a quarrel between you - A. I know nothing of it. I never desired any thing of the kind.
Q. Did not you send a person of the name of Williams, a tailor, who works for the same master as your son Charles did, in Hatton Garden - A. I never saw him. I do not know any such name.
CHARLES HUMPHREYS . I apprehended the prisoner at his lodgings, No. 4, King-street, Soho; the two pair of stairs front room. I first went there one at noon, he was not at home; in the room I found a drab great coat, a black coat, a black waistcoat, some neck handkerchiefs, three shirts, a pair of stockings; and on his person I found two duplicatesof five pair of stocking, pledged in Russel-street; I found afterwards a twenty-pound, a three-Pound, and a two-pound bad notes. I waited in his room until one o’clock; he then came in, and I apprehended him on the night of the 26th of April. It is a double house, with a chandler’s shop below; and at the chandler’s shop I found a bottle green coat, a pair of drawers with the name taken out of the hands, and a night-cap.
Q. to Mrs. Wright. Look at the drab coat, the black coat, and the waistcoat, are these the things that you lost - A. Yes; all these things are my husband’s property.
Q. to Humphreys. Where did you find these things - A. About the room; some were in a trunk. I asked him whether all the things in the roombelonged to him except the bed; he said, yes; he asked me who had thrown them about; I said the person that to them. He said nobody belonged to them but himself; I asked him particularly twice.
CHARLES WRIGHT . Look at these clothes, first at the black coat, is that your coat - A. Yes, it is; it is the coat that I missed; it was taken out of my house; the black waistcoat is not mine; the bottle green coat, and the drab great coat is mine.
Prisoner. Will you allow me to ask Mr. Wright to put that coat on.
COURT. Just step into a room and put the coat on. (Mr. Wright withdrew and came into court with the black coat on; said it was his coat to the best of his knowledge.)
THOMAS WINTER ALLEN . I am a pawnbroker. On the 5th of April, the prisoner pawned three pair of stockings for five shillings, a tablecloth, and a napkin for half-a-crown.
Prosecutrix. I am certain all these articles are mine.
JOSEPH GREENSTEAD was called, and not appearing, in court, his recognisance was ordered to be estreated.
Q. to prosecutrix. Look at that letter, is that his hand writing - A. It is. (The letter read.) And so is the other letter.
Wednesday, April 28th, 1813.
Addressed, in haste, to Mrs. Wright, Great Pulteney-street, Golden-square.
“My dear Mrs. Wright, I beg for God’s sake you will not prosecute me, if I am committed to Newgate to-morrow I shall be transported; for Gods sake intercede with Mr. Wright for him to consider what distress I was in that made me do what I have; I will not attempt to make any excuse for my conduct; I am almost mad; if I was sure of being hanged I would not ask you for any mercy, as my misery would be at an end. Consider the many years misery I shall be doomed to bear if I am transported; you know I have no friend in the world, and you will be sorry one time or the other hereafter; as I have had a deal of property left and settled on me since I saw you, but the Procter of the Commons will not pay me while I am under a charge of felony; you are not obliged to prosecute without you like, the officers will persuade you for the sake of the reward; pray speak well of me to the magistrate, ask leave for me to go to sea; they will consent. It note nly a matter of form being bound over. Pray swer er I am almost dead; be merciful, and God will be so to you; pray consider your unfortunate Georg W. Wells Clerkenwell prison.
Another letter written by the prisoner. (Read. Addressed to Mrs. Wright Great Pulteney-street.
Tuesday, June 15th, 1813.
“Dear Madam, I shall be very much obliged to you if you will call and see me as soon as possible; I have something very particular to tell you that will be of consequence to you. I cannot mention the particulars to you here; if you will come you will not be sorry for it; I beg you will not delay coming. I am very ill; the short allowance of bread scarce keeps me alive. I have no friends to come and see me in my distress. I have a good chance to be fortunate and rich, I will explain particulars. Pray come, you will do yourself a material service, and me great kindness. Excuse my writing to you once more; let me beg to see you. Still I remain your unfortunate friend, George W. Wells , master side of Newgate. Inside it is more comfortable than it appears outside, any of the turnkeys will shew you where I am. There was a time when you did not fail to oblige a friend; best respects to Mr. Wright.
Prisoner’s Defence. Mr. Wright has sworn to a coat that is not his. I acknowledge these letters to be mine; I wish not to deviate from the truth; I wrote some of them at the request of Mrs. Wright. My lord and gentleman of the jury, I am quite unprepared either by counsel or attorney to defend me. And I always understood from Mrs. Wright that she never would appear against me; I am fully convinced that I must appear guilty in the eyes of this court. I have now no other means of vindicating my cause then a true relation of the facts that has caused this unjust prosecution against me; it was not my wish to divulge disagreeable truths. I am forced to it by Mrs. Wright, who has wickedly come forth and accused me of the robbery, she being convinced that the whole of the prosecution is to screen herself and her daughter from the anger of Mr. Wright. I have no other witness on my part than a Mr. Cox, who I have every reason to believe is gone to Bath, or keeps out of the way, knowing his evidence would establish my innocence. I do not mean to accuse Mr. Wright of being the principal instrument of prosecuting me, I wrote to him several times begged he would see me; I told him plainly if he prosecuted me it would cause a great exposure. I have no doubt he has been exasperated against me by the wife and daughter. I shall now endeavour to relate the particulars.
I have been acquainted with Mrs. Wright and family several years. I went to school with her eldest son; through him I was unfortunately introduced to the rest of the family. Mr. Wright then was a stay-maker ; since then he has been a bankrupt. I was ever a friend to them, and did myself material harm through them. They know their daughter has gone upon the town. I was continually distressing myself for some of the family; of late I have not been upon very good terms with them. I thought it necessary to keep out of the way. A short time back I called upon Mrs. Wright, telling her how I was situated. She begged that I would come and live with her a few days, which I accepted of, and took some things with me. She agreed that Mr. Wright should not be acquainted with it, and gave me thekey of the street door to let myself in and out, during which time Mrs. Wright was continually complaining of the ill treatment of her husband, and proposed me to take her daughter in keeping, and she to live with us; which I objected having to live with both. I told Mrs. Wright it was impossible for me to do as she wished, as I had promised to marry a young lady. I told Mrs. Wright I must have the bill of sixty-three pounds; that I was in danger of being arrested for it. This she cannot deny. I had many documents in my possession, which I have mislaid or destroyed. On Friday the 2nd of April it was understood that Mr. Wright was coming home. I was plain, and asked Mrs. Wright for my clothes. On the next morning I breakfasted with her. I was very much surprised when she told me they could not be found; at length I understood that they were all pledged. I insisted upon having them restored, or I would take such steps as would get them. She said, if I would call on Sunday the 4th of April, the day she states the robbery to be committed. I should have them. When I went the next day Mrs. Wright said she was unwell. I asked Mrs. Wright if she had got my clothes. She said, if Mr. Wright knew it he would be the death of us both, as he did not like me to be there. She said, if I would wait a few days she would have it in her power to redeem them for me; Mr. Wright would bring some money home with him; she would lend me a few things. I told Mrs. Wright I would wait, if she would let me have a few necessary things. I stopped with Mrs. Wright and her daughter until eight o’clock in the evening, when we went out together. We went to the wine vaults, where I treated them with some drams. Mrs. Wright said she would bring the things down with her, meaning the things now produced. After we came out of the wine vaults I asked her if she brought the things down with her. She excused herself by saying she would send her daughter, Mary, home with them in the morning. I said I wished to have them then. Mrs. Wright desired her daughter to bring the bundle down, and told her the key was under the mat. Mrs. Wright and daughter walked home with me to my lodging. She remarked that the shirts were not very good; they were very clean. Notwithstanding how I had been used I promised to lend her some money to redeem the things she had pledged. After this Mrs. Wright and daughter told me that Mr. Wright missed some of his things, but did not know that they were lent to me, and begged that I would not let him know, as he would kill them. When I left Mrs. Wright she promised to call on me in two or three days. At half after twelve o’clock at night I went home to my lodgings; Humphreys seized me, and asked me what I had in my room. I said nothing but my own, and what I had given to me. On the morning Mary Wright came to me, and told me to keep my spirits up. She said, her father had found me out by watching her mother, and had beaten her violently for letting me have these things; that her father had taken me up for robbing them, as they dare not tell the truth. She said her mother was afraid of seeing me herself for fear of being known; she must appear against me, as Mr. Wright would be present. She begged for God’s sake I would not tell the truth; they should be ruined. I promised if her mother would clear me I would not. Mrs. Wright sent to me, persuading me to write a letter to Mr. Wright, which I did. I was committed to Bridewell, since which time Mrs. Wright has been buoying me up that nobody would appear against me. I put off my trial last sessions by her desire, that at this time Mr. Wright would be out of the way. This way I have been kept in prison eleven weeks, and find myself the dupe of Mrs. Wright and daughter, who I wonder is not present, as she came to me almost every day in prison. I declare I am innocent of what I am accused of.
Q. to Mrs. Wright. Is it true that you and your daughter met him every day until he was apprehended - A. No, never.
Q. Is it true that you have lent him several things - A. Never in my life.
Q. Then it is not true that you lent him these things that you charge him with stealing - A. No, never.
GUILTY - DEATH , aged 27.
First Middlesex jury, before Mr. Justice Gibbs.
William George Wells was on a List of 40 male convicts embarked on the Brig Kangaroo for the Derwent. 13th April 1816.
No. 34. Wm. Geo. Wells, Somersetshire, Convicted at Middx. G.D., July 1813, Sentence – Life, Trade, Seaman.
Convict Changes History
Maureen Withey on 2nd December, 2019 made the following changes: