Category Archives: HITCHIN

COLONIAL MOTHERS

THE SAG Newsletter reports that Dr Tanya Evans, now of Macquarie University, is engaged in researching the history of motherhood in early Colonial Australia and Britain between 1750 and 1850. The focus has caught my fancy. My Mind seems to have taken a disproportionate amount of time in recovering from the Change of year and the Summer Season and I haven’t been able to get my mental historical  hard drive functioning at all but this little article has begun to bring the ghosts back to life again. Dr Evans is asking for assistance from any who have worked extensively on their family histories and have details of mothers from these early times. Dept of Modern History at Macquarie University, Sydney would have the contact details for you.

As for me, it has me thinking of all the Mothers of Mine who and the folkore I have been given. The Scottish Widow who was asked to be Laird of the Clan but came out here with her children instead.  Johannah Ready Prendergast, whose son John was sent as a convict to Government House at Windsor where his mother was Housekeeper. I wonder often about Johannah who was 47 when convicted in Ireland. She tried to have another son and his family sent out but failed. When John’s marriage failed and he became excessively odd in his behaviour and was sentenced to Moreton Bay, Johannah disappears from the records. I like to think she followed him.

Ann Moran and Hannah Hutchings/Hitchens. What was it like for them to be mothers here in the early 19th Century ? Young convict women. Ann had 5 children to John Curtis who was already husband and father to a family in England and had attempted to have them brought to him.  Hannah was recorded as a ‘ loose woman’ on the convict ship THE BROTHERS. How did her life as a mother develop from that starting point and from the death of her first husband in the Lunatic Asylum, Liverpool ?

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HENRY SAMUELS

HENRY SAMUELS. SECOND HUSBAND TO HANNAH HUTCHINGS

Last name
Samuels

First name
Henry

Ship
Prince of Orange

Year
1820

Native place
Berkshire 1804

Trade or calling
Labourer

District
MGD 1819

Ticket no
25/297

State Records shelf ref
4/4060

State Records reel no
890

LYNNE BELL SANDERS

HANNAH’S FAMILY

From Penny and Marilyn I have further info.

To begin with, Phil Ready provided the following information. 

Hannah Hitchens first married Thomas Benson ( who is officially and possibly my ancestor ) and they had 2 daughters MARY ANN and SARAH ANN.

HANNAH HUTCHINS

MARRIED 15/3/1826

THOMAS BENSON
MARY ANN
6/5/1627
  SARAH ANN
3/7/1831
 
Following Thomas’ death in Liverpool Asylum, Hannah bore children to and later married HENRY SAMUELS.
 
  HANNAH HUTCHENS MARRIED 12/9/1836 HENRY SAMUELS
HANNAH
1832
LOUISA
1837
HENRY W
1840
JAMES C
1842
ELLEN
1846
 
PENNY  SENT THESE DETAILS :
 
  •  
    • Greatly interested as  Hannah Hitchens/Hutchings is my gt gt grandmother by her second marriage to Henry Samuels. Their daughter Louisa Matilda married to Jabez Brown was my gt grand mother.I have just this very day being trying to trace both parts of the familie’s movements in Victoria and NSW. When was Thomas Benson admitted to Liverpool asylum and why? Hannah and Henry’s 1st child Hannah was born in 1832 within days of his death and they did not mary until 1836 with permission of the govt. Hannah did not get her Conditional Pardon until 1838.Henry was also a convict.
      Cheers Penny
  •  
    • The plot thickens!!!
    • No I don’t have much on Hannah Samuels jnr/Kilfoyle except Victorian death certs for her and husband Joseph (1889 & 1905).in Victoria.

      I also have dc’s for all her Samuels siblings except Ellen and a bc for Benson 1/2 sister Mary Ann born 1827 Lower Minto.

      Next step is to obtain a transcript of her birth cert. I feel there must have been a wee bit of a relationship overlap to say the least whilst Thomas was languishing in Liverpool insane asylum! His death cert has occupation – LUNATIC!

      I had a quick look on nsw BDM and saw the 1833 Jane Benson death but no mother is given. Where is the info from? It could be another Benson. I found Glen Mc Kenzie’s family tree on Rootsweb 2002 – World Connect a good guide to Samuels that got me going.  @   GLNMCK@HOTMAIL.COM 1927760   There are some inaccuracies eg Henry Samuels senior place of birth.

 
MARILYN ADDED THIS INFORMATION REGARDING HER DESCENT FROM SARAH ANN BENSON AND HER SECOND HUSBAND GEORGE MOORE:
  • I am descended from their 3rd child, Henry Thomas Moore who married Ellen McPhee, then their 2nd child Leslie Francis Moore who married Gladys May Robinson, then their 1st child Gladys Ivy Moore who married my father, Allen William Roberts. Mum and Dad only lived 3 streets away from each other in Lilyfield and knew each other from childhood. You would know that George was the 1st son of George Moore, convict of the ‘Asia’ 1822 and Ann Tracey, who came free on ‘ Elizabeth ’ 1818.  They married in 1827 and George was born in 1828.
  • Thanks for the new info and Penny has raised a few questions actually.  I hadn’t noticed but I have a child, Jane Benson, registered born and died in 1833 to Hannah and Thomas Benson, besides the child Penny mentioned, Hannah, born in 1832 (parents Hannah and Henry Samuels).  I hadn’t noticed the cross over of dates.  Will have to investigate further.  Perhaps ‘Jane’ and ‘Hannah’ are the same child?  Is it possible to ask Penny if she has anything on ‘Hannah’ except for a birth? I don’t have anything further on Thomas Benson’s death, only the BDM registered in Liverpool .  If Penny has a certificate she knows more than I at this time.  Of course, back in the early days asylums were also classified for use as ‘benevolent’, for not just the ‘ insane’ but also for people with invalidism or ill-health, or as paupers.  A cert would give some idea of his ‘condition’.

LYNNE WRITES : Sarah Ann was married in 1851 to Peter Mark Ready. They then go to Victoria in 1852 with their baby daughter. Hannah being only one year younger than Sarah it does seem likely there  is a connection in the Victorian experience. They lived in White Hills and then Back Creek near Amherst ( ah! this then became known as Talbot in 1861) It was there in 1862 that Peter Mark ready fell down a mine shaft and died.

We had always pictured Sarah as alone in Victoria with her 5 children but I doubt that after reading Penny’s emails. She married George Moore very quickly and returned to Sydney. Peter Mark was also known as Hogan ( the 2nd husband of his mother)

MORE ABOUT HANNAH

Two descendants have now made contact – Marilyn and Penny. See their comments on previous entries.

 

Hannah then is landed in Sydney. Two years later on 15 march 1826 she is listed with these names HANNAH (HITCHINGS, HITCHINS, HITCHERS OR HUTCHINS ) as a spinster of Parramatta when she has the permission of Governor Darling to marry THOMAS BENSON, Batchelor at St Johns Church, Parramatta. The ceremony was carried out by the assistant chaplain , Thomas Hassell and was witnessed by John Baker and Christabella Ferguson.

On 4 may 1827, at lower Minto, a daughter was born. MARY A BENTON ( SIC)

(Phil Ready cites vol1 no 7991, vol2 no25 RGI)

Hannah was granted a ticket of leave in 1829 ( 29/1007 reel 913 AONSW) and two years later on 3 August 1831 gave birth to a second daughter  SARAH ANN BENSON who was baptised in St Phillips Church Sydney on the 5 November 1831. ( vol 15 no 308 RGI)

Nine months later, Thomas Benson died in the Lunatic Asylum at Liverpool leaving Hannah with five year old Mary Ann and one year old Sarah Ann to rear. On 23 August after a simple ceremony , Thomas was buried. ( Vol 16 1562 RGI) 

The same year Hannah gave birth to another daughter whom she named Hannah, this time the father was Henry Samuels whose surname the child bore.

HANNAH HITCHINS

OLD BAILEY

Hannah Hitchins  ( Hitchens,Hutchens etc) was a native of Islington, London. She was just  over 4ft 10in tall. Her hair was brown, her eyes grey and they described her skin as being sallow and pock marked. (Brothers Indents) . Having been sentenced to death at the Old Bailey, Hannah was instead transported to The Colony. On December 6th, 1823, a complement of women prisoners and several passengers were aboard the transport, BROTHERS, and ready to depart. A light sail was set and BROTHERS pulled out from the pier at the Downs. She set her sails and glided out of the harbour.  ( letter to Sir Thomas Brisbane from James Hall, Surgeon Superintendent of THE BROTHERS 4/1774 reel 2662 pp 41-50 and 4/4009A AONSW)

According to Hall, soon after leaving England, six of the women conspired to murder him and actually formed a mutiny in the prison in which he was knocked down, beaten and kicked.

It was afterwards discovered that the First Mate was involved. According to Hall,the Mate had conspired with the women and had actually hit him and rescued one of the mutineers, whom the master, Charles Motley, Hall and the Second Mate had seized. He also stated that Mate James Thompson Meach had offered the mutineers a bottle of rum if they would ” jump his bl—- guts out” Said he would blow Hall’s brains out;throw him overboard in a gale or bribe some men in Sydney to throw him over The Rocks.

It transpired that James Meath had made a duplicate key to the prison and had taken one of the prisoners , twenty one year old Mary Smith to bed with him. He has also directed the Third Mate to let a prisoner out of the gaol for the purposes of prostitution.

Hall stated that most of the prisoners had been very well behaved except for a few whose bad conduct he believed could be wholly attributed to the influence of James Meath and his associates. These never exceeded more than six or seven of the women, in spite of Meath’s efforts to seduce all of the women and crew to engage in mutual and unrestrained intercourse, although a number of the crew had also entered the prison secretly to enjoy the women.

One of the prisoners, nineteen old Ann Bullen, had risked her life to warn hall of the conspiracy against him.  The ship arrived at Hobart Town on 15 April 1824 and after spending ten days there, sailed for Sydney on the 25th. On arrival in Sydney, the Cook, William Lovell, had also broken into the prison for the purposes of prostitution. James Meath was tried in Sydney at the Police Office where he admitted to using the women for prostitution.

Charles Motley, Master of THE BROTHERS, requested that Sir Thomas Brisbane allow him to discharge three other members of his crew as well as James Meath. They were William Meath ( Brother of James),  who had taken no part in the events Aboard whatsoever, William Lovell, the Cook, and John Phillips who wished to remain in the Colony.

TWO BABIES were born during this voyage but both died. Three other children, two male passengers and one of the convicts Mary Partridge also died.

Hall wrote a report on the state of the prisoners . He noted that the majority of the forty women were aged between nineteen and twenty seven and except for one who died of consumption,all were in good health. Most were apparently well behaved but six were entered as being LOOSE WOMEN. Among the latter was HANNAH HITCHINS.

more to come : 20 May 2008

RESEARCHED AND RECORDED BY PHILIP READY. MANY THANKS.

earlysydneyw994h706

 

    PROCEEDINGS OF THE OLD BAILEY 

    PAINTINGS OF THE SEA – TASMANIA

    ADB BIO OF JAMES HALL ( A DIFFERENT SLANT ON THE STORY OF HANNAH’S SHIP )

PHOTOS FROM LONDON COURTESY JON SANDERS

RE HANNAH HITCHENS ( HUTCHENS)

St Andrews Holborn is the scene of Hannah Hutchens (Hitchens) theft. The church is really the only thing left that would have been there at the time – but is a very nice church with the two curious statues on either side of the door. I haven’t come across anything like them anywhere else. St Andrews is one of half a dozen streets that radiate out from Holborn Circus – most of the streets heading south (including St Andrews) are almost totally modern but those heading north give a little more sense of what it may have been like.

It has always worried me in London that I can’t quite get my bearings. This time I realised that it’s largely because there is a big modern city that still follows a totally chaotic medieval street plan. Holborn is just outside of the old city as defined by the old city wall but it is still a very old part of town.

Jon Sanders.

ST A2 ST ANDREWSSTA5 STA6 

STA 3STAA4

RE THOMAS BENSON. 

Gravel Lane is the scene of thomas Benson’s crime. There is even less to see here but it is probably an even older part of town – indicated by the name of the area Aldgate (or old gate). It is in the east, not far from the Tower of London but suffered badly during the blitz. It is an area that is one of the business centres of London and I have included a photo of one of London’s ‘iconic’ new buildings, the Gherkin, which is only a block or so away (London blocks are usually much shorter than blocks in other cities because of the previously mentioned chaotic medieval street plan – shorter and seldom straight)

Jon Sanders

ALDGATE ALDGATE2 ALDGATE3

THANKS TO JON SANDERS FOR THE PHOTOGRAPHS AND COMMENTARY. MAY 2008.

HANNAH HITCHENS AND THOMAS BENSON WERE THE PARENTS OF SARAH ANN BENSON WHO MARRIED PETER MARK READY AND THEN GEORGE MOORE. SARAH WAS THE MOTHER OF PETER READY WHOSE DAUGHTER JESSIE SARAH MARRIED WILLIAM BELL. THEY WERE THE PARENTS OF JACK, JEAN, JOYCE AND BETTY BELL.

 

LYNNE BELL SANDERS › Dashboard — WordPress

SARAH AND GEORGE MOORE.

SARAH AND GEORGE MOORE. 19TH CENTURY

 

IN 1988 , PHILIP READY  DISTRIBUTED A FAMILY HISTORY OF THE READY FAMILY TO THE MEMBERS OF HIS FAMILY. MUCH WORK HAD BEEN PUT INTO THIS AND HE ISSUED IT IN THE FORM OF 45 PAGE BOOKLET WHICH HE CALLED ” READY OR NOT” . I HAVE JUST ACQUIRED HIS CONTACT DETAILS AND WILL WRITE AND ASK FOR PERMISSION TO PUT IT ONLINE.

IN THE MEANTIME HERE ARE SOME OF THE FAMILY DETAILS WHICH HE SO PAINSTAKINGLY RESEARCHED  WITH HIS WIFE LOIS IN PRE-INTERNET DAYS WHEN THIS WAS NO SMALL TASK.

 

SARAH WAS BORN SARAH ANN BENSON. 

Her parents were THOMAS BENSON and HANNAH HITCHINS ( HUTCHINS. HUTCHINGS) and both had come to Australia as convicts. 

THOMAS BENSON – 1802 -1832

HANNAH HITCHINS – 1803 -1864.

THOMAS BENSON

Thomas was a black-haired , 5’3″ tall, brown complexioned twenty year old  maker of steel toys when he was brought in the 4 December 1822 Middlesex Gaol Delivery to Court. Thomas was tried and sentenced to transportation for life to The Colony of NSW. He ha been apprehended on 30 October 1822 when he attempted to steal , along with two others, five shirts valued at 20 shillings and two handkerchiefs valued at 2/-  . These were the goods of one Sarah Spencer. Sarah Spencer lived with her mother who was a laundress in Vinegar Lane , Commercial Road, London.  The three men had been standing nearby  at about 7.45 pm when Sarah stepped out of a shop in Gravel Road with a bundle of of clothes  and a pair of shoes.

One man grabbed the bundle of clothes and the second had run off close behind whilst the prisoner, Thomas, had held Sarah for a couple of minutes to aid the escape of the other two. When Sarah had screamed for assistance Thomas had also run off after the other two but had been apprehended before he reached them. ( Old Bailey Trials. Reel 30 No. 28 page 12 ML . These can now be read online. )

In April of 1823, Thomas was one of 172 convicts from the Leviathan and York Hulks who were placed aboard the OCEAN II.

According to James McTernan, Surgeon and Superintendent aboard the Ocean II, the 85 or so convicts from the YORK Hulk were of the most unsavoury character: ” who had made attempts to escape , in which some had perished; who had attacked the clergyman in the performance of his functions and who had declared  their determination to take possession of the OCEAN II on her passage to NSW. Mc Ternan also stated that the men of the Leviathan ” were men of good conduct and fair character. “

 

HANNAH HITCHINS

On 25 June 1823, 16 year old Hannah Hutchins was tried at the Old Bailey  for stealing from a dwelling place  and sentenced to death. Apparently this was later commuted to transportation for life to NSW. 

Before Mr. Justice Burrough.

911. MARIA WILLIAMS and HANNAH HUTCHINS were indicted for stealing, on the 20th of May , at St. Andrew, Holborn , thirty-three yards of poplin, value 2 l., the goods of Miles Metcalf , in his dwelling-house .

CHARLES WILSON . I am shopman to Miles Metcalf , a linendraper , who lives in High Holborn . On the 20th of May, between six and seven o’clock in the evening, I was called down from tea, and found the prisoners in the shop, and as they were going out, I said I suspected they had something which did not belong to them; Hutchins denied it – Williams desired her to give it up if she had anything; she still persisted that she had nothing. I sent for a constable, and before he came Hutchins took the poplin from under her clothes, and gave it to me – it measured thirty-two yards, and is worth exactly 40 s., it cost us 1 s. 4 d. a yard – we should sell it for 5 s. or 6 s. more. Williams begged hard to be let go, and said she would take the print away, and pay the money if we would let them go; she said nothing about the poplin. Hutchins said she had never seen it after she had given it up – she could not account how it got under her petticoats. They at first said they had not enough to pay for the print, which came to 8 s. 3 d., but 14 s. was found on one of them.

JOHN LATIMER CLARK . I am servant to Mr. Metcalf; the prisoners came to the shop, and both asked to see a printed cotton; I saw Bow the shopman who is not here, shew them a great many. I was behind the counter opposite to them, about a yard from them; they were about ten minutes looking at them, and did not like any of them. I saw Hutchins convey a piece of figured poplin under her petticoat; she rather stooped to do it; Williams was close to bet, she did not put it on the side Williams stood, but Williams came on the other side of her at the time, and held up a printed cotton, while she was doing it, and asked me the price of it. I immediately ran up stairs and told Wilson, who came down with me, they were than paying 1 s. deposit for a print – they were going out, and he said, he thought they had something which did not belong to them, Hutchins denied it. I left them with Wilson, while I fetched Collins, the officer.

JAMES COLLINS . I am a constable. I was fetched. Wilson gave me the poplin and the prisoner’s in charge.

(Property produced and sworn to.)

WILLIAMS’S Defence. I was coming along Holborn, and met Hutchins very much in liquor. She asked me to go with her to buy a gown, and I went with her, not knowing that she meant to steal.

HUTCHINS – GUILTY – DEATH . Aged 16.

WILLIAMS – NOT GUILTY .

On December 6,1823, the complement of women prisoners and several passengers were aboard the ship BROTHERS and ready to depart.  Setting a light sail the BROTHERS pulled out from the pier at The Downs, set her sails and glided out of the harbour bound direct for the Colony and Hobart Town. ( Letter to Sir Thomas Brisbane from James Hall, Superintendent of the BROTHERS. 4/1774 Reel 2662 pp 41-50 and 4/4009A  AONSW)

MORE TO COME. 10/5/08

 

LYNNE SANDERS – JOYCE BELL(SANDERS) – JESSIE SARAH READY(BELL) – GEORGE PETER READY – SARAH BENSON/READY/MOORE