Houghton Conquest Men Transported in the 1830s
The 1837 local census for Houghton Conquest mentions a number of men from the parish who had been transported. Investigation of the gaol database showed that in all thirteen men were transported from Houghton Conquest in the 1830s. The population of Houghton Conquest was 794 so these men formed roughly 3% of the male population. The men were as set out below.
At the Michaelmas quarter sessions Thomas Grummit was sentenced to seven years transportation for stealing "a butcher's steel" presumably a cleaver or some such instrument. He was 21 and 5 feet 4 inches in height, with brown hair and a fresh complexion. He was delivered to the hilk Justitia at Woolwich [Kent] on 1st November [QGV10/1].
At the Lent Assizes 1831 William Juffs was sentenced to death for burglary. He was 23, 5 feet 6 inches in height, with brown hair and a fresh complexion. His sentence was reduced to transportation for life and he was removed to the Justitia hulk on 12th April 1832 [QGV10/1].
At the Midsummer Sessions of 1832 Christopher Cox was sentenced to seven years transportation for stealing pigs. He was 41 and stood 5 feet 6 inches. His hair was brown and his complexion fresh. He was removed to the Justitia on 17th July 1832. General remarks on the Prisoner simply reads: "Bad" [QGV10/1].
At the Michaelmas Sessions 1832 James Allen was transported for life for sheep stealing. He was 35 and stood 5 feet 4 inches, with dark hair and dark complexion. He was removed to the Justitia on 31st October 1832 [QGV10/1].
At the Summer Assizes of 1834 James Page was transported for life for unlawful wounding and maining of cattle. He was 38 and stood just over 5 feet 1 inch. His hair and complexion were both dark. He served one month's hard labour and then was transported to the hulk Fortitude at Chatham [Kent] on 21st August 1834 [QGV10/1].
At the same assizes William Atkins was sentenced to death for burglary. This sentence was commuted to fourteen years transportation. He was 15 years of age, standing just over four feet six inches, with dark hair and a sallow complexion. He was removed to the Fortitude on 21st August 1834, no doubt in the company of James Page [QGV10/1].
On 19th January 1835 William Taylor was committed to Bedford Prison for cutting and wounding. He was sentenced to death but had this commuted to transportation for life and he was put on board the Justitia on 24th April 1835. He was 37, just over 5 feet 5 inches tall, with light brown hair and a fair complexion [QGV10/1].
On 24th March 1835 John Radman was committed to prison for fowl stealing. He was given seven years transportation and sent to the Justitia on 24th April, probably in company with William Taylor. He was 30, 5 feet 7 inches tall, with brown hair and a fresh complexion; unusually he could both read and write, sugegsting he was a product of Houghton Conquest School [QGV10/1].
On 31st December 1835 two men were committed for seep stealing. William Pennyfather was 24, 5 feet 8 inches in height, with brown hair and a fresh complexion. He could read and write. Samuel Chappel was 23 and five feet four inches tall. His hair was sandy brown, he had a fresh complexion and a mole on his cheek. He could read. Both men were transported for life and put on board the Justitia on 20th January 1836 [QGV10/1].
On 28th April 1836 Joseph Redman was committed for stealing eggs. He had been in trouble before: in 1825 he had beens entenced to death for housebreaking, the sentence being commuted to twelve months hard labour [QGV10/1]. He was now 36, standing 5 feet 9 inches tall and he could read and write imperfectly. The quatret sessions records [QSR1836/3/6/12] tell us that he stole eight hen's eggs worth three pence from George Smith. Redman was given seven years transportation and sent to the Justitia on 13th July 1836, his conduct being "very orderly", as it had been in his previous brush with the law [QGV10/1].
The final two men to be transported were both committed on 21st June 1837 for stealing a lamb. William Neal was 26, stood five feet eight inches tall, had brown hair, hazel eyes and a small mole on his left cheek. He could neither read nor write. His confederate was John Riddy, 22, five feet six inches tall, with brown hair and grey eyes. He could read imperfectly. Both were sent to the hulk Ganymede on 8th July 1837.