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William Widdeson

William Widdeson, one of 200 convicts transported on the Earl Spencer, May 1813

Name, Aliases & Gender

Name: William Widdeson
Aliases: Widdowson
Gender: m

Birth, Occupation & Death

Date of Birth: 1782
Occupation: Baker
Date of Death: 31st March, 1837
Age: 55 years

Life Span

Life span

Male median life span was 59 years*

* Median life span based on contributions

Conviction & Transportation

Sentence Severity

Sentence Severity

Sentenced to 7 years

Crime: Theft~grand larceny
Convicted at: Middlesex Gaol Delivery
Sentence term: 7 years
Ship: Earl Spencer
Departure date: May, 1813
Arrival date: 9th October, 1813
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 HO11/2, Page Number 97 (50)
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

D Wong on 19th February, 2020 wrote:

Old Bailey:
Theft: grand larceny.
18th September 1811
Verdict Guilty; Guilty
Sentence Transportation

ROBERT CLEAVER and WILLIAM WIDDISON were indicted for feloniously stealing on the 1st of August, a flat of butter, value 1 l. 3 s. the property of Benjamin Hazel.

BENJAMIN HAZEL. I am a cheesemonger in Great Russell-street, Covent Garden. I received a flat of butter of the waggon at the Golden Lion Inn, St. John-street; I put it in a barrow, and wheeled it to Smithfield; I then left it in the care of Edward How , a boy to wheel home; the flat of butter was forty-two pounds, and three pounds ten shillings was the wholesale price.

EDWARD HOW. I was to wheel it home in the barrow; at Fleet Market somebody came up to me and said should he wheel it home for me, that was a boy, he is not here; I had wheeled it from Smithfield to Fleet Market; I let him wheel it, I kept by him.

Q. Now look at these two men, do you know whether you ever see them before - A. No. The boy wheeled it into Fleet-street, he asked me if I would have any beer; I said thank you, and we went into a public-house about the middle of Fleet-street, he told me to leave the wheelbarrow about four doors of the public-house; we did not stop in the public-house ten minutes, then he told me go and look if the barrow was safe; I did; the butter was gone and the wheelbarrow was left.

Q. What became of the person that gave you the beer - A. I do not know, he left me. I went home and told my master the butter was gone.

HENRY TAYLOR. I am a porter, I work at the Golden Lion, St. John-street. On the 1st of August, about nine in the morning, I met Cleaver with a flat of butter on his back in Charterhouse-square, Widdison was with him, I knew them both before by sight; they were about ten yards apart, but both in one direction. I knew the flat, I asked Cleaver where he was going with the flat, Cleaver told me he was carrying it for a gentleman, which was Widdison; there was no other person by him. Widdison told him to come along with it.

He went on into Fan-street, I followed Cleaver, and Widdison went first. When they got into the middle of Fann-street I asked Cleaver to set it down; he set it down. I cut the flat open and shewed the note that was in it to a gentleman, the gentlemen said it did not appear to have been sold by any butter merchant or cheesemonger that morning. Cleaver said he was carrying it for Widdison; Widdison was at the bottom of the street, he went away and left the butter and Cleaver and me. A young man that was with me took the butter, and I took Cleaver to the Golden Lion, and when we came to the Golden Lion the carrier knew that it was delivered to Mr. Hazel. We sent for a constable and gave charge of Cleaver; Cleaver said he was to have sixpence for carrying this flat, of Widdison that was along with him. On the next morning I saw Widdison at Cow Cross, I catched hold of him and asked the carrier to assist me. I told Widdison he must go along with me. I took him to the officer that took the the other in custody, he tried to get away; I gave him in charge of the constable. I know both the prisoners well, I had seen them several times before in Newgate-street, and about Newgate-market. I am sure Widdison was one of the two.
WILLIAM TISSAKER. I am a constable. I took charge of Cleaver, he went quiet with me to the watchhouse. Widdison was brought to me the next morning by the porter and bookkeeper, I took hold of him; as I was going along he made his escape from me. I called out stop thief, and he was stopped.

JOHN BRANSCOMB. I am an officer of the City.

Q. Taylor has said he saw the prisoners go from Charter-house-square from thence into Fan-street, is any part of that in the county - A. Carthusian-street is a narrow street. The whole of the footway is in the county, and on the right hand in the City.

Taylor. The man carried the butter on the left-hand on the flag-stones.

Cleaver’s Defence. I had been to market about six o’clock in the morning to buy some potatoes to go out with in the day; I was coming along St. Johns-street, by the Bull’s head, I met a man he asked me to carry the flat of butter, and he would give me six pence; I said very well; he put it on my shoulder, and I went on with it.

Widdison’s Defence. I am innocent of the charge that is alledged against me; the other prisoner is quite a stranger to me.

CLEAVER - GUILTY, aged 22.

Transported for Seven Years.

No ship found for Robert Cleaver.

Ancestry Convict Indents (NSW):
William was listed as 27 years old on arrival. (Birth dates of 1784, 1782 and 1792 listed).

Native Place: London.

Occupation: Biscuit baker.

William was 5’7” tall, fair ruddy complexion, light sandy hair, grey eyes.

William was then transferred to VDL (dates states 1816) however he married Ellen Hickey (Catherine 1814) in VDL 26/12/1814.  No children listed.

Ellen Hickey married or had a ‘Common Law Marriage’ to Mount Rose (Montrose) Johnson (Indefatigable 1812).
William Hickey Johnson
Mary Johnson
George Michael Johnson
Thomas Johnson
Ellen Johnson
Samson Johnson

31/3/1837: William Widdowson died in Hobart, Tasmania. Listed as a labourer and 55 years old.

Convict Changes History

D Wong on 19th February, 2020 made the following changes:

alias1: Widdowson, date of birth: 1782 (prev. 0000), date of death: 31st March, 1837 (prev. 0000), gender: m, occupation, crime

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