Convicts Stewart Harrington

Convict [1530]: Henry Stewart [1809-1866]


Relationship: Direct Ancestor, 4th Great Granfather

Aliases: Stuart, Steward

Description 1

Trade: Labourer
Height: 5 feet, 4 inches
Complexion: Dark
Head: Small
Hair: Dark brown
Visage: Small
Eyebrows: Dark brown
Eyes: Dark grey
Nose: Small
Mouth: Small
Chin: Small
Remarks: Anchor and Heart on the left arm


Birth: Abt. 1809-14, Scotland

Although I cannot verify Henry’s birth location, his death record states that he was born in Scotland. All I can determine from available records at the moment is that he was arrested in Preston, Lancashire and that he was late of Preston. This information only verifies that he was living there at the time.

So, while there is no denying that he and his brother Richard lived in Preston, it doesn’t mean that Preston was their birthplace.

When Henry married in 1845, he stated his age as 31; on his death record in 1892, his age was 83. Based on these dates, he was born between 1809 and 1814.

11 Dec 1831: Assault and Attempted Robbery2

“On Sunday evening last, about half-past eight o’clock, as Mr. Thomas Beesley was proceeding homewards, to Green Bower Gardens, between the bottom of Mount Street and Charles street, he was stopped by four youths, who struck him with bludgeons, and knocked him down, with intent to rob him, taking from him his hat and umbrella.

He, however, showed a resolute resistance, and getting up, pursued one of the ruffians and secured him with his own hands before he could obtain assistance. His hat was found on the same night, and his umbrella, which had been thrown over a wall, the next morning.

Another of the gang has since been apprehended: the names of the two are John Kellett and Richard Stewart. They are both remanded until Tuesday, Kellett having given information of the two others who were concerned in the assault.”

04 Jan 1832: Conviction, January Quarter Sessions3

“January Quarter Sessions

Thursday, January 5

John Kellett, 18, Richard Stewart, 19, Henry Stewart, were charged with stealing at Preston, a hat and an umbrella, the property of William Beesley, from his person.

John Kellett pleaded guilty, and Mr. Addison council for the prosecution wished to examine him as a witness. A question arose whether he was competent to give testimony. It was ruled that he was not competent.

The prosecutor (as stated in our paper at the time) was walking home at night, the 11th of December, with his wife, when he saw four men. One of them took his umbrella, another his hat, and a third knocked him down. Kellett was pursued and taken; the other two were afterward apprehended, but the prosecutor could not speak to either of them. Walton, the superintendent of police, said that one of them had told him in the lockup that he was with Kellett when the assault happened. Upon this evidence, they were found guilty.

Stewart admitted he had been in company with Kellett that night, but it must have been after the assault was committed. The Chairman enquired of Mr. Walton if he had known anything of the prisoners before. He said he did not. The chairman said another instance of a person being knocked down and robbed by a gang of ruffians, and such offences must be visited by exemplary punishment.

The sentence of the Court was that they should each be transported beyond the seas for the term of seven years.

The relations and friends of the prisoners shrieked and cried so loudly on this sentence being pronounced, that the officers of the Court had some difficulty in restoring order.”

1832: Quarter Session Records and Petitions4

Whereas Henry Stewart late of Preston in the said county, laborer hath as this session been convicted of stealing from the person of William Beesley, one umbrella and one hat, his property.

This court doth therefore order and adjudge that the said Henry Stewart shall be sent and transported to some part beyond the seas for the space of fourteen years next, pursuant to the statute in such case made and provided.

It is worth noting that his brother? Richard recieved the same sentence.

Jan-Feb 1832: Ganymede Hulk5

Henry, Richard, and John Kellett were all delivered to the Ganymede Hulk, which was moored at Woolwich on the Thames. They were incarcerated on the hulk while waiting to be transferred to the next available transport vessel.

The boys were discharged from the Ganymede on the 11 Feb 1832 and received by the Katherine Stewart Forbes the same day.


Note: All three boys, brothers Henry and Richard Stewart and John Kellett, were transported on the Katherine Stuart Forbes to Van Dieman’s Land.

Departure: 27 February 1832, Woolwich, England

Arrival: 28 July 1832, Hobart Town, Van Dieman’s Land

Surgeons Journal 6

Note: I only picked out the journal’s key dates and events to produce the following extract. The complete Journal explains the suffering that took place on board the ship while quarantined at Stangate Creek.

Of the 222 convicts aboard, 30 men developed Cholera and 13 died.

“Medical and Surgical Journal of the Male Convict Ship Katherine Stewart Forbes between the 26th day of January and the 28th day of July 1832 during which time the Ship has been employed in conveying Convicts to Van Dieman’s Land.

J. Stephenson, Surgeon Superintendent

January 26th: Joined the ship at Deptford

February 7th: Embarked the Military guards consisting of 1 Caption, 1 Subaltern, 3 Non-commissioned officers, and 39 Privates, with 4 women and one child, in all 49. A Medical inspection of the guard took place by a staff surgeon from Chelsea [..]

February 8th: Moved down to Woolwich

February 10th: Received 80 Convicts from Justitia Hulk

February 11th: Received 70 Convicts from Justitia Hulk

February 11th: Received 32 Convicts from the Dock Yard

February 15th: Received 40 Convicts from Chatham. Being a total of 222, which with Guard, Ship’s Company, etc. makes the whole number of persons on board 308.

On the 27th, we sailed from Woolwich, and on that day occurred the first case of Cholera Morbus …

General Remarks

As everything I could say under this heading has already been detailed in the body of the Journal at the end of each month, I shall confine myself to a general summary of the voyage and a brief account of Cholera Morbus as it appeared on board. However, even this last is rendered unnecessary by my report on that subject previous to leaving England.

On the 8th of February, we left Deptford, and the same day anchored at a trifling distance from the Hulk at Woolwich. By the 13th of the same month, the whole of the convicts, amounting to 222, were on board, and we were quite ready for sea, but from some cause or another, the ship was detained after this, for a full ten days. During this period, the weather was very unfavorable, either raining or densely foggy, with now and again a fair day intervening. The convicts generally appeared in good health but were a good deal exposed to the weather as it was necessary to have them all on the deck while the prisons were cleaning.

On the morning of the 2nd March, we hove up for Plymouth with then five Cholera cases on the list. We arrived in the Sound the same evening, but the following morning, we were presumptuously ordered by the Port Admiral to proceed to sea. A steamer towed us out? For two days after exposure to a strong gale of wind with constant rain, almost every person on board was seasick. The prisons were disgustingly filthy, and the hospital was wet, dark, and stinking. The unfortunate patients suffered severely, and the result was, as I anticipated, was an immense sacrifice of human life.

After leaving Plymouth, we attempted to reach Milford. Still, the wind being foul and blowing very hard; we were obliged to bear up for Stangate Creek where we arrived on the 6th and […] strict quarantine until our final departure, being however supplied with bread, water and most liberally with bedding, medicines, and necessaries for the sick.

On the 25th March we sailed from Stangate Creek…

The remaining part of the voyage is easily described. In April and May, the weather, generally speaking, was very favorable and never extremely hot; between the tropics, the usual range of the thermometer was from 79 to 84 and never exceeded 85…

In June, scurvy appeared, and in the early part of July increased rapidly. On our arrival at Hobart Town, we had no less than 39 on the list; many of the cases, especially those combined with Dysentery, were very severe. Of those, however, only five were confined to the hospital. The use of fresh beef and vegetables for the ten or twelve days previous made a wonderful alteration for the better in general health, and the general appearance of the convicts and more obviously in those labouring under any scurvy symptoms very few [..] were considered hospital cases.

On the 17th, a third examination by the Colonial Surgeon took place. On the 23rd, the prisoners were disembarked, orders issued by the Lieutenant Governor in council that every article of clothing, bedding, hospital furniture, or anything else, used, or supposed to have been used during the voyage should be destroyed. The order, of course, was carried into effect.

J. Stephenson


Henry’s Conduct Record 7

Name: Henry Stewart
Tried: Lancaster
Date of trial: 04 Jan 1832
Sentence: 14 years
Ship: Katherine Stewart Forbes
Arrived: 15 Jul 1832
Crime: Transported for stealing from the person
Gaol report: Bad connections and courses
Hulk report: Orderly, single

Note: The following names in brackets are the people Henry was assigned to or worked for in both the Assignment and Probation periods. The following dates have been taken from many sources, including Henry’s conduct record while under sentence and public records held by Tasmanian Archives and The National Archives in Kew, England.

1832: Assigned to B. Berthon8

1833: Assigned to B. Berthon9

27 Aug 1834: Berthon10

Positively refusing to go out to work and being riotous and insolent, 3 months supervised, and hard labor Bridgewater recommended and not returned to his master’s service [K. Roper]

31 Oct 1834: Chain Gang11

Breaking his irons intending to abscond, 3 months added in irons recommended […] and to be kept at barrow work, vide Lieutenant Governor’s decision, 14 Nov 1834.

1835: Assigned to J. Birchall12

14 Jun 1836: Birchall13

General, hard labour in a road party for 3 months, and returned to Govt [H. H. B] Sandy Bay road party, vide Lieutenant Governor’s decision, 25 Jun 1836.

7 Oct 1836: Malcom14

Disobedience of orders, hard labor in a road party 6 months, [H.H.B] [A.B], […] Hill road party, vide Lieutenant Governor’s decision, 15 Oct 1836.

12 Feb 1838: Survey Department15

Disobedience of orders and insolence, 36 lashes, [R.J]

22 Mar 1839: Ticket of Leave16

16 Feb 1841: Ticket of Leave17

The following entry in Henry’s record was not dated; however, it followed after his 1841 Ticket of Leave.

‘Feloniously received one Mulbray colored cloth coat of the value of 2 pounds, the original term of his transportation extended 2 years, deprived of his ticket of leave during this, His Excellency the L.G. […] and not to be again permitted to return to the Avoca District […] [….]

1841: Assigned to W. Ellis, Green Ponds18

20 Aug 1841: Ellis19

Misconduct in assaulting George Clements, 3 days solitary confinement […]

17 Aug 1842: Ellis20

Misconduct in not completing his work and causing his master’s servant to be dissatisfied, 3 months hard labor, recommended to assigned to the other side of the island, […], […] Surveyors gang Hobart, vide L.G […], 19 Aug 1842

Convict Probation Period Starts [1843-1853]

8 Mar 1844: 3rd Class Probation Pass21

20 Mar 1844 22

Prisoners Barracks, Neglect of duty, 7 days solitary confinement, […]

31 May 1844: Marriage Permission23

Henry applied for permission to marry Convict Mary Harrington, who arrived in 1841 aboard the Navarino. The application was sent to the Colonial Secretary on the 25th of June but was subsequently deferred for further information and not processed.

8 Dec 1844: Ticket of Leave24

Remainder of extension sentence remitted, vide Lieutenant Governor […], 12 Oct 1846

30 Apr 1845: Marriage Permission25

While holding a ticket of leave, Henry made a second application to marry Mary. However, this time the application was approved.

24 Jun 1845: Marriage26

Registration No.: 1883

Henry Stewart, age 31, sentenced expired, was working as a shoemaker, Mary [Ann], age 23, was still serving out her sentence and working as a servant, possibly for Caroline Peterson as no records are stating who Mary was assigned to after Caroline.

Henry and Mary were married on the 24th of Jun 1845 at the Trinity Parish Chapel, Hobart, by William Dry.

Witnesses to the union were, Thomas Scott and Jonas Heywood

The Trinity Chapel was located in High St (now Tasma St), North Hobart. Trinity rented the Chapel from the Methodist church after the original chapel located on the corner of Brisbane and Campbell Streets was closed to the public and transformed into the Criminal Court House27

24 Feb 1846: Birth of daughter Mary Ann28

Registration No.: 100

Mary and Henry lived in the Campbell Town district, Tasmania, and Henry was working at Valleyfield.

Mary Ann would marry Richard Curtis on 26 Apr 1866 in Launceston, Tasmania, and died on 14 Mar 1884 from Typhoid fever in Launceston, Tasmania.

Mary Ann and Richard’s marriage notice in the examiner 29 stated that Henry was living at Patersonia Rivulet.

5 Nov 1846: Free Certificate30

31 Mar 1847: Birth of daughter Margaret31

Registration No.: 144

Henry and Mary lived in the Campbell Town district, Tasmania, and Henry was working as a Labourer.

Margaret married James Bulman, who died from a cart accident in 1873, Ringarooma, Tasmania. She then married John McLennan on 28 Apr 1876 in Launceston, Tasmania, and later died on 02 Jul 1905 at Ringarooma, Tasmania.

Henry and Mary were living in Patersonia at the time of Margaret’s marriage to James32

26 Sep 1848: Birth of daughter: Alice33

Registration No.: 225

Henry and Mary lived in the Campbell Town district, Tasmania, and Henry was working as a Shepherd.

Alice married William Bulman, brother of James in the Manse (Chalmers Church), Launceston, on 28 Sep 1866 and died abt. 1908 in Kensington Hill, Victoria.

1849: Free34

13 Sep 1852: Sailed to Melbourne35

Along with his brother Richard and John Kellett, Henry sailed to Melbourne aboard the Vixen in 1852. There is no information giving the reason for travel.

I know that both Henry and John Kellett returned from Melbourne before 1856 as John died on 17 Nov 1856 in Fingal, Tasmania. I’m not sure what became of Richard though, Tasmanian Archives have a death record for Richard Stewart, but it is dated 1851, the year before the Melbourne voyage.

27 Jan 1892: Death36

Henry at the age of 82 passed away while living in Patersonia, Tasmania, the cause of death, senility.

Abt. Sep 1892: Burial

No burial record has been found for Henry; I assume that he was buried in the All Souls Anglican Cemetery, Patersonia, Tasmania.


  1. Tasmanian Archives: CON18/1/10, Film No: Z2525,$init=CON18-1-10p51
  2. Preston Chronicle: Saturday 17 December 1831, 3,
  3. Preston Chronicle: Saturday 07 January 1832, 3,
  4. Ancestry: Lancashire, England, Quarter Session Records and Petitions 1648-1908 [Order Book, 1832, V.82]
  5. Ancestry:
  6. The National Archives: ADM 101/40/3,
  7. Tasmanian Archives: CON31/1/39, Film No: Z2555, Katherine Stuart Forbes, 1530
  8. The National Archives: HO 10/48,
  9. The National Archives: HO 10/49,
  10. Tasmanian Archives: CON31/1/39
  11. ibid
  12. The National Archives:, HO 10/50,
  13. Tasmanian Archives: CON31/1/39
  14. ibid
  15. ibid
  16. The Cornwall Chronicle (Launceston, Tas. : 1835 – 1880): 30 March 1839: 4.,
  17. Tasmanian Archives: CON31/1/39
  18. The National Archives: HO 10/51,
  19. Tasmanian Archives: CON31/1/39
  20. ibid
  21. Launceston Examiner (Tas. : 1842 – 1899) 13 March 1844: 8 (EVENING),
  22. Tasmanian Archives: CON31/1/39
  23. Tasmanian Archives: CON52/1/2, Film No: Z1420,$init=CON52-1-2p221
  24. Colonial Times (Hobart, Tas. : 1828 – 1857) 3 December 1844: 3,
  25. Tasmanian Archives: CON52/1/2, Film No: Z1420,$init=CON52-1-2p223
  26. Tasmanian Archives: RGD37/1/4, Film No: Z2453,$init=RGD37-1-4p239
  27. The Mercury (Hobart, Tas.: 1860 – 1954) TRINITY CHURCH (1933, June 1) 10,
  28. Tasmanian Archives: RGD18/11, Film No: Z1559,$init=RGD18-1-1p013jpg
  29. The Cornwall Chronicle (Launceston, Tas.: 1835 – 1880) Family Notices (1866, May 23) 8,
  30. The National Archives: HO 10/39,
  31. Tasmanian Archives: RGD18/1/1, Film No: Z1559,$init=RGD18-1-1p020jpg
  32. The Mercury (Hobart, Tas. : 1860 – 1954), 14 May 1867: 1,
  33. Tasmanian Archives: RGD18/1/1, Film No: Z1559,$init=RGD18-1-1p030jpg
  34. The National Archives: HO 10/50
  35. Tasmanian Archives: POL220/1/2, Page 139,$init=POL220-1-2P070
  36. Tasmanian Archives: RGD35/1/61, Z2447, 48,$init=RGD35-1-61p4