This post is really a work in progress inspired by Alan's convict.
This is what I've discovered about a family black sheep.
At Cambridgeshire Lent Assizes on Wednesday 20 March 1844 before the Right Honourable James Lord Abinger
|James Scarlett, First Baron Abinger (1769 -1844)|
(Engraving by Henry Cousins 1837 after a painting by Sir Martin Shee, 1789-1850.)
The prisoners charged with offences committed within the Isle of Ely in the County of Cambridge were
- Thomas Scotney, aged 20, a labourer from Stamford Lincolnshire
- John James, aged 22, a labourer from March
"Committed November 24, 1843, by John Fryer, and John Richardson Fryer, Esqrs, charged on the oaths of James Southwell, and others, with having, on the 19th day of November inst. at the hamlet of March, feloniously assaulted him the said James Southwell and stolen from his person, one piece of the current gold coin of the realm called a half sovereign, one other piece of the current silver coin of the realm called a sixpence, one canvas purse, and one clasp knife, his property.
The said Thomas Scotney and John James stand further committed at the same time by the same Magistrates, charged on the oaths of Wm. Everitt, and others, with having, on the 19th day of November inst, at the hamlet of March, feloniously assaulted him the said Wm. Everitt, with intent to steal his monies, goods and chattels.
The said Thomas Scotney and John James were also further committed March 2, 1844, by Lord Godolphin charged on the oath of William Thorpe, with having, on the 8th day of November last, at the parish of Elm, feloniously assaulted him the said William Thorpe, and stolen from his person seven pieces of the current coin of the realm called sovereigns, and one canvas purse of the value of threepence, his property
ROBERT HUTCHINSON LEWIN, Esquire, Sheriff"
Thomas Scotney was convicted and sentenced to life and transportation. He became Convict Number 68445 and sailed from Woolwich on 9 July 1844 on the 669 ton barque Agincourt under Captain Hy Neatby. Agincourt arrived at Norfolk Island on 9 November 1844 and landed 224 convicts.
His 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.
It merely says:
Thomas Scotney, one of 224 convicts transported on the Agincourt, 06 July 1844Known aliases: none
Convicted at: Convicted at Cambridge Assizes for a term of life.
Sentence term: Life
Ship name: Agincourt
Departure date: 6th July, 1844
Place of arrival: Van Diemen's Land
Van Diemen’s Land is what we now know as Tasmania. Thomas disembarked at Norfolk Island, the small island in the Pacific between Australia, New Zealand and New Caledonia used from 1824 as the place to send “the worst description of convicts.” The second penal settlement began to be wound down by the British government after 1847, and the last convicts were removed to Tasmania in May 1855.
I have managed to trace Thomas on the Tasmanian Archives Online locating his conduct record.
|Agincourt Record Book|
His conduct record in the Agincourt book tells a sorry tale.
|Conduct Record - Thomas Scotney|
“Period of Labour” is given as 30 months and the “Station of Gang” as Norfolk Island. The section on “Offences and Sentences” show he was far from a model prisoner. As early as June 1846 he was punished for misconduct. He was often absent without leave when he had been moved to work with Tasmanian families in Hobart; he was guilty of larceny in 1856 for which he received 6 months hard labour. The last record for 1861 reports him to have been drunk and disorderly.
So far I have been unable to find out what happened to him, but I’m still digging in the records.
I have been unable to locate Thomas in the first UK census of 1841 but a number of Scotneys lived in Stamford at that time icluding some in my family tree. There is even another younger Thomas living in All Saints Place which must have looked far better than Norfolk Island or Tasmania to the family convict.
|All Saints Church, Stamford, Lincolnshire - 1990s|
All Saints Place is behind and round the church.