HOME

A Convict Ancestor

Contents

 

Introduction

The fate of my GGG-Grandfather George Trowbridge has for many years been a mystery. At the time of writing the original version of my book[1] (c1990), which summarised all that was then known about the family, his last ‘sighting’ was the entry in the Ebbesbourne Wake (Wiltshire) Parish register for the baptism of his son Lot in 1811. After this nothing more had been uncovered until January 2000 when I acquired a copy of the Criminal Records Indexes for Wiltshire, recently available on floppy disk[2]. This was a source  ignored for years. I did know however that George and his family were extremely poor and desperate for work as the Church Warden accounts for the village show.  To my delight, I have to say, George immediately was discovered and as will be seen there is little doubt that he was my missing ancestor. This note summarises the rich body of information obtained from the CRO, PRO and from Archives in Australia which together allow us to piece together most of George’s story. 

NAME

SURNAME

ALIAS

WHEN TRIED

CRIME

SENTENCE

HO 27/

YEAR

COUNTY

George

Trowbridge

 

Lent assizes

larceny

acquitted

3

1807

WIL

George

Trowbridge

 

Summer assizes

felony in killing & carrying away a fallow Deer

transportation for seven years

9

1813

WIL

Table 1 : Extract from HO 27 Criminal Register Indexes for Wiltshire 1805-1816

  Back to top

  Time Line

Event

Date

Place

Birth

1775

Berwick St John, WIL

Baptism

10 Dec 1775

Berwick St John, WIL[3]

Marriage

6 Apr 1799

Ebbesbourne Wake, WIL[4]

Occupation

Labourer

Ebbesbourne Wake, WIL[5], see section 2

Alleged Felony

19 Jan 1807

Ebbesbourne Wake, WIL[6], see section 3

Acquitted

7 March 1807

New Sarum lent Assizes[7]

Alleged Felony

6 Nov 1807

Bowerchalke, WIL, killing a fallow deer

Convicted

25 Apr 1808

Easter Quarter Sessions, Salisbury, 6 Months Jail[8]

Alleged Felony

1 Jun 1813

Alvediston, WIL, killing a fallow deer

Convicted

2 Aug 1813

Salisbury, WIL, 7 Years Transportation[9], in Fisherton Anger Jail, until 15 October, 1813[10]

Imprisoned

1 Oct 1813-

31 Mar 1814

Prison Hulk ‘Portland’ at Portsmouth,[11] (Langstone Harbour) awaiting transportation[12]

Transported

10 May 1814

Spithead on the ‘Somersetshire’ to NSW

Arrival

16 Oct 1814

Port Jackson  (Sydney), NSW[13]

Port Dalrymple[14]

30 Oct 1815

Sent on board EMU as one of 31 Mechanics & Labourers to VDL[15]

Convict Muster

1817

Still in VDL (Tasmania)[16]

Convict Muster

1820

Still in VDL[17]

Sentence Expired

July 1820

 

Convict Muster

1821

Landholder in the colony[18]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Table 2 : Time Line for George Trowbridge, 1775 to 1821

Table 2 shows the principal events in George’s chronology with the main sources cited. Later sections give more details from these sources and some speculations where the evidence is not complete.

The parents, children, and other family details of George and Anne Trowbridge are listed in Table 3 .

Father

George Trowbridge (1724-1802)

Mother

Hester Chown (1732-1797)

SpouseAnne Trowbridge

Birth

1777    Ebbesbourne Wake WIL

Death

1817    Ebbesbourne Wake WIL

Burial

20 Aug 1817    Ebbesbourne Wake WIL[19]

Religion

Baptist

Father

James Trowbridge (-1786)

Mother

Mary Scamel (1745-1817)

Children

James (1800-1864)[20]

           

Susanna (1802-)

           

Ann (1805-)

           

William (1809-)

           

Lott (1811-1818}

Table 3 : The Family of George and Anne

  Back to top

  Overseers of the Poor Accounts

 George appears several times in Overseers of the Poor accounts and in the Ebbesbourne Parish Churchwardens accounts. The last entry referring to George is in Oct 1811. These sources are for 1788 onwards i.e. Ebbesbourne Wake, WIL, Churchwardens accounts, CRO, Trowbridge, 940/3.

Date

Task

1805

Nov 22

George Trowbridge for cleaning ye water course at 6 ? £1-0s-6d

1805

Dec 10

George Trowbridge for stones 6s

1806

Jan 5

George Trowbridge for stones 8s

1806

Jan 17

George Trowbridge for stones £1-1s-6d

1810

Nov 3

George Trowbridge for wheeling stones from lime pits 3s-4d

1811

Feb 16

George Trowbridge for 2 days at lime pits 3s-4d

1811

Apr 6

George Trowbridge for 4 days at lime pits 6s-8d

1811

Oct 5

George Trowbridge pd for 6 days on roads10s-10d 7s

 

 

 

 

 

 

Table 4 : Overseers of the Poor Accounts for Ebbesbourne Wake

Back to top

Brushes with the Law

Further research at the PRO (Kew) CRO (Trowbridge) following the events recorded in HO 27 (See section 1) enabled George’s criminal career to be established. 

Alleged Stealing 1807

  Transcription of PRO ASSI 25/5/10

Lent assizes New Sarum 7 March, 1807 Indictment[21]

Wilts The Jurors of our lord the King upon their Oath that George Trowbridge late of Ebbesbourne Wake in the County of Wilts labourer on the 19th Jan in 47 year of our Sovereign Lord George Third (1807) by the Grace of God of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland King Defender of the Faith with force and arms at the Parish aforesaid Two sacks of the value Six shillings and Eight Bushels of Wheat of the value of Two pounds of the Goods and Chattels of John Rebbeck then and there being found feloniously did steal take away against the peace of our said Lord the King his Crown and Dignity.

Signed Follet

On the reverse side was listed the following names possibly witnesses for or against  John Rebbeck, Stephen Moxham[22], William Moxham, Henry Thorne, Henry Rebbeck, Thomas Parnham[23], Richard Mills, Thomas Trowbridge[24], John Trowbridge[25]. All sworn in court and the parchment was labelled a ‘True Bill’ ( a case to answer).

Calendar Lent Assizes[26]

Before Sir Alexander Chambre Knight one of the Justices of HM Court of Common Pleas and the Hon Sir Thomas Manners Sutton Knight one of the Barons of HM Court of Exchequer.

George Trowbridge committed by T Grove Esq. on suspicion of feloniously stealing two sacks of Wheat value two pounds the property of John Rebbeck of Ebbesbourne Warrant dated 1 Feb 1807.

Sign Thomas Culley Esq. Sheriff.

Tried Tuesday 10th March, 1807 before Jury and found not guilty

Poaching 1807

 Transcription of Easter Quarter Sessions Salisbury[27]

Additional Prisoners

Limited Time

‘George Trowbridge, 33, Committed by J H Jacob, Clerk, for six months, having been convicted of a offence on the Game Laws. Warrant dated April 25, 1808.’

The above warrant offence is referred to in more detail in his second offence at the assizes in 1813, see next section where the actual date of the offence, ‘deer killing’, is stated as being 6th Nov 1807. Also of interest is another case under the felony listed in this quarter session calendar, i.e.

‘Stephen Saunders, 51, Committed by J H Jacob, clerk, charged with feloniously killing a fallow deer in the unenclosed part of Cranborne Chase, without the consent of the owner, he having been convicted of a former offence against the deer acts, Warrant dated April 25, 1808. Committed for the Assizes’

 It seems likely that Saunders may have been involved with George but since this was his second offence he was sent to the assize court where he was acquitted. George was not so lucky on his second offence in 1813.

Poaching 1813

 Transcription of ASSI 25/10/6

Notes

Where a word was impossible to decipher then there has been inserted ****.
A word of obscure meaning is underlined.
After preamble the text first refers to the earlier and similar offence dealt by the Quarter Sessions in 1807.

Indictment 1813 Summer Assize at Salisbury[28]

 Wilts Be it Remembered that at the Assizes and General Session of Oyer Terminer of our Lord the King holden at New Sarum in and for the County of Wilts on Saturday the thirty first day of July in the fifty third year[29] of  the reign of our Sovereign Lord George the Third by the Grace of God of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland King Defender of the Faith  Before Sir Robert Graham Knight on of the Barons of our Lord the King of his Court of Exchequer Sir Vicary Gibbs Knight one of the Justices of our Lord the King of his Court of Common Pleas and others their Fellow Justices of our said Lord the King assigned by letters patent of our said Lord the King under the Great Seal of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland to them the said Sir Robert Graham Sir Vicary Gibbs and others their Fellow Justices of our said Lord the King and to any two or more of them directed (of whom one of them the said Sir Robert Graham and Sir Vicary Gibbs or of others in the said Letters of patent  named our said Lord the King willed to be one) to enquire more fully the truth by the Oath of good and lawful men of the Count aforesaid and by other ways means and methods by which they should or might better know (as well within Liberties as without) by whom the truth of the matter might be better known and enquired into of all Treasons Misprisions  of Treason Insurrections Rebellions Counterfeitings Clippings Washing of false Coinings and other falsities of the money of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland and other Kingdoms or Dominions whatsoever and of all Murders Felonies Manslaughters and Killings Burglaries Rapes of Women unlawful meetings  and Conventicles unlawful uttering of words assemblies Misprisions Confederacies False Allegations Trespasses Riots Routs Retensions Escapes Contempts Falsities Negligencies Concealments Maintainances oppressions  champarties Deceits and all other evil doings offences and Injuries whatsoever and also the accessaries of them within the County aforesaid (as well within Liberties as without) by whomsoever and in what manner soever done committed  or perpetrated and by whom or to whom when how and after what manner and of all other articles and circumstances concerning the premises and every of them or any of them in any manner whatsoever and the said Treasons and other the premises according to the Laws and customs of England for this time to hear and determine by the Oath of Richard Long Esqire Paul Methuen Esquire Sir Eyre Coote Knight of the Bath Thomas Grimston Estcoint Esquire John Bennett Esquire John Hungerford Penriddock Esquire Aylmer Bourke Lambert Esquire John Hussey Esquire Wadham Locke Esquire John Gale Everett Esquire George Eyre Esquire  William Bird Brodie Esquire Alexander Powell Esquire Thomas Grove Esquire Daniel Compton Esquire Thomas Tugwall Esquire William Harding Esquire Ambrose Awdry Esquire Edward Horlock Mortimer Esquire Edward Slade Esquire John Garrett Esquire and Charles Timbrell good and lawful men of the said County of Wilts then and there sworn and charge to enquire for our Sovereign Lord the King for the body of the said County It is presented in manner and form following (that is to say) “ Wilts to wit the Jurors for our Lord the King upon their Oath present that heretofor “to wit on 25 April in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and eight one George Trowbridge was duly convicted before John Henry Jacob Clerk then being one of His Majesties Justices of the peace in and for the said County of  Wilts upon information and complaint of Bernard Harrington of Pentridge in the county of Dorset Yeoman who prosecuted as well for our Sovereign Lord the King as for himself in that behalf and upon the oath of Joseph Gulliver late of Bower Chalke in the said county of Wilts labourer a credible witness in pursuance of an Act of Parliament passed in the 42nd year[30] of the reign of his present majesty King George III entitled “An act more effectively to prevent the stealing of deer” For that he  the said George Trowbridge on the sixth day of November then last past[31] at the parish of Bower Chalke in the county of Wilts aforesaid within a certain ancient walk called Cobley[32]   Walk in Cranbourne Chase in the unenclosed part of the said walk and chase did wilfully kill one fallow deer without the consent of the Right Honourable Lord Rivers the owner of the said Deer and without being otherwise duly authorised so to do where upon the said Justice adjudged that the said George Trowbridge had forfeited the penalty of Fifty Pounds and the sum of Ten Shillings and Sixpence for the charges incident to that conviction to be levied and distributed as the statute in that behalf directed as by the said conviction duly filed and kept amongst the Records of the quarter sessions of the said county of Wilts more fully appears which said conviction still remains in full force in no wise reversed set aside quashed or Discharged And the Jurors[33] aforesaid upon their oath aforesaid  further present ****[34] that the said George Trowbridge late of Ebbesbourne Wake[35] in the said county of Wilts  labourer after he was so convicted of the said offence as aforesaid, to wit on the first day of June, in 53rd year [36]of the reign of our Sovereign Lord George the Third by the Grace of God of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, King Defender of Faith, with force and arms at Alvediston in the county of Wilts aforesaid in the unenclosed part of a certain Chase called Cranbourne Chase did wilfully and feloniously kill a certain Fallow Deer of the said George Lord Rivers of the price of Twenty Shillings then and there being in the right unenclosed part of the said Chase without the consent of the said George Lord Rivers the owner of the said last mentioned Deer  and without being otherwise duly authorised against the form of the Statute in such case made and provided and against the peace of our said Lord the King his Crown and Dignity And the Jurors aforesaid upon their oath aforesaid further present that the said George Trowbridge after he was so convicted as aforesaid, to wit, on the said first day of June in the 53rd year aforesaid with force and arms at Alvediston aforesaid in the county of Wilts aforesaid in the inenclosed part of the said Chase called Cranbourne Chase one other fallow Deer of the said George Lord Rivers of the price of 20 Shillings then and there being in the unenclosed part of the said Chase without the consent of the said George Lord Rivers the owner of the said last mentioned Deer and without being otherwise duly authorised wilfully and feloniously did carry away against the form of the Statute in such case made and provided and against the peace of our said Lord King his Crown and Dignity Whereupon the Sheriff of the said County is commanded that he omit not by reason of any Liberty in his Bailiwick but that he enter therein and take the said George Trowbridge if he may be found in his Bailiwick and him safely keep to answer to our said Lord the King concerning the said Felony whereof he stands indicted as aforesaid which said Indictment the said Justices of our said Lord the King above named afterwards, to wit, At the Delivery of the Gaol of our said Lord the King of the said County of Wilts holden at New Sarum aforesaid in and for the said County on the said Saturday the thirty first day of July in the said fifty third year of the reign of our said Lord the King before the said Justices of our Lord the King above named and others their Fellows Justices of our said Lord the King assigned to deliver the said Gaol of the prisoners therein being by their own proper hands do deliver here in Court of Record  in due force of law to be determines and afterwards, to wit, At the same delivery of the Gaol of our said Lord the King of the said County of Wilts holden at New Sarum aforesaid in for the said County on the said Saturday the thirty first day of July in the said fifty third year of the reign of our said Lord King before the said Justices of our said Lord the King above named and others their Fellows aforesaid here cometh the said George Trowbridge under the custody of William Fowle Esquire Sheriff of the said Count of Wilts (in whose custody in the said gaol of our said Lord the King of the said County for the cause aforesaid he had been before committed) being brought to the Bar here in his proper person by the said Sheriff to whom he is here also committed and forthwith being demanded concerning the felony in the indictment above specified and charged on him how he will acquit himself thereof the said George Trowbridge Saith he is not Guilty thereof and thereof for good and ill he puts himself upon the Country and Thomas Chambre Esquire clerk of the Assizes and clerk of the Crown for the said County of Wilts who prosecuteth for our said Lord the King in his behalf doth the like Therefore Let a Jury thereupon immediately come before the said Justices of our said Lord the King above named and others their fellows aforesaid here by whom the truth of the matter may be better known and who have no affinity to the said George Trowbridge to recognise upon their Oath whether the said George Trowbridge be guuily of the felony in the indictment aforesaid specified and charged on him or not because as well the said Thomas Chambre who prosecuteth for our said Lord the King in his behalf as the said George Trowbridge have put themselves upon that Jury and the Jurors of the said Jury by the said Sheriff for this purpose impanelled and returned, to wit, John Spencer James Guley James Harding Thomas ****  Sartain  John Smith Thomas Mizen James Wilkins Edward Eatwell Thomas Bodman Henry Druett Ezuile Hudd and James Cottle being called come who being chosen tried and sworn to speak the truth of and concerning the premises in the said Indictment contained say upon their Oath that the said George Trowbridge is Guilty of the Felony aforesaid in the said Indictment charged on him in manner and form as by the said indictments is alleged and that the said George Trowbridge at the time of committing the said Felony or at any time since to this time had not any Goods or Chattels Lands or Tenements in the said County of Wilts or elsewhere to the knowledge of the said Jurors and hereupon it is forthwith demanded of the said George Trowbridge if he hath or knoweth anything  to say for himself why the Court now here ought not upon the Verdict aforesaid to proceed to Judgement and Execution against him Upon which the said George Trowbridge prays the benefit of the Statute in such Case made and provided to be  allowed to him  in his behalf and it is granted to him[37]      

Whereupon all and singular  the premises being seen and by the said Justices and Court now fully understood It is Ordered and Adjudged by the said Court now here that the said George Trowbridge be Transported beyond the Seas for and during the Term of Seven Years persuant to the Statute in that case made and provided.

                                                                                           Chambre[38]

   Back to top

 Map of the area

 

Map 1 : Wiltshire Chalkes and Cranbourne Chase

Environs of Alvediston, Ebbesbourne Wake and Bowerchalke are shown.
The place where the first deer was killed in 1807 is near Cobley (below Woodminton).
The second deer offence in 1813 was is in the Cranbourne Chase south of Alvedistion.

  Back to top

  Convict 1913 to 1820

After his conviction George was ordered for transportation. His name in the Gaol Transportation book[39] was bracketed with John Rose[40] who had also been sentenced to seven years. John he was 25 and came from ‘Trowbridge’ where he had been accused of stealing some clothes. The local paper, The Salisbury and Winchester Journal gives a brief report of the Assizes, the crime and sentence only[41]. The Sheriff’s Accounts for 1813 states that they were held in Fisherton Anger Jail from August 3 to Oct 15 at a cost of £1 5s 7d each[42]. They both appear adjacent on the list of convicts sent to the prison Hulk ‘Portland’ where they spent the next eight months[43]. According to the Master (Captain Mears) victualing accounts they arrived on October 15 1813 and remained on board until March 31, 1814[44]. During this period George spent 5 days in the hospital (Jan 1, 1814), not from excessive New Year’s Eve celebration one suspects. George and John Rose were probably chained together as they appear, also bracketed, in the Ships Indent[45]. They were finally put on the Convict transport ship ‘Somersetshire’[46] and sailed from Spithead on the 10th May. This vessel was probably well managed by its Master (Alex Scott). Only one convict was lost out of the 200 on board (all male) on the voyage, which took 159 days. The Indent gives the following particulars

 

Name

Where Convicted

When

Term

Native Place

Calling

Age

height

complexion

hair

eyes

George Trowbridge

Wilts Assizes

31 July 1813

Seven Years

Wilts

Labourer

38

5/9½

fair-pale

dark brown

hazel

John Rose

do

do

do

do

do

28

5/10½

fair-ruddy

brown

do

Table 5 : Convict Indent of the ‘Somersetshire’

John and George were now separated with John Rose being one of a group of 99 sent to Windsor, Liverpool and Parramatta, he later prospered and founded an Australian dynasty with many descendants alive to day. I am grateful to his ggg-granddaughter Mrs Coralie Hird, who has been helping me with the Australian end of this research, for this information. George appears to been kept in Port Jackson (Sydney) for a year before being sent as one of a group of mechanics and labourers to Port Dalrymple on the north coast of Van Diemans Land (Tasmania). In the index of the papers for NSW Colonial Secretary[47] the following entry appears

Trowbridge, George. Per “Somersetshire”, 1814, harness maker
1815, Oct 30.        On list of mechanics and labourers to be embarked on the “Emu” for the service of the Government at Port Dalrymple (Reel 6004, 4/3494 pp. 253, 258)

The reel confirms this plus a covering letter from the Secretary to the Commander of the “Emu”. He next appears on the NSW Convict Muster for 1817[48] and again on the muster for 1820[49] where it states that his still in VDL. Our next view of him is on the 1821[50] muster which is the ‘nominal and alphabetical return of Male convicts and those that have been such but now free who were in NSW in 1821’. The form has this entry

 

Date of Ship

Trial

Period for which Transported

How disposed of

Whether still residing in the Colony

Names

Arrival date

Ship

Master

Where

When

Trowbridge George

Oct 1814

Somersetshire

Scott

Salisbury

Aug 1813

7 Years

Expired 1820

Landholder

Yes

          

Table 6 : Muster for NSW 1821

Thus we conclude that George successfully served his time and was then allocated a small land grant (Possibly ~30 Acres, as was the custom for emancipated convicts). His name does not appear in the 1828 census for NSW. However the administration of Van Diemans Land separated from NSW in 1825 and was not included in that Census.

  Back to top

   After 1821

The next information came from the Tasmanian Archives Office in Hobart. In response to my request for information on any records referring to a George Trowbridge in VDL the following new facts emerged[51].

a.       George Trowbridge received a land grant from Governor Macquarie in 1821 at Patterson Plains. This is noted in document LSD1 /2[52] as follows

Launceston January 2nd 1837

To Capt. Boyd,

Respected Sir

I most respectfully beg the favour of your kindness to be pleased to oblige me with the Diagram of the Grant of Land to George Trowbridge of Paterson Plains[53] who sold the same to one Thomas Prosser and who is now most anxious to apply for a Title[54] for the same from the governor ¾ I have to inform you that a short time back I wrote to you upon this subject but received no answer Therefore I could but conceive it could not have come safe to your hands ¾  I therefore beg as a great favour you will oblige me with the same as early as possible.

Your most respected Sir

Your obedient Servant

J B Clark

NB Sir

This grant was given to Trowbridge by the late Governor Macquarie[55] in about the year 1821. You were once pleased when at Launceston to show me the ms of the grant but at that time I did not want the Diagram.

Your Obed. Serv.

JBC

It is clear that this letter refers back to earlier events.

b.      Of great interest also are the following two entries from surveys carried out in VDL on the status of children in the colony. These records are found in CSO1/119[56]. The first extract is dated 1826 as it is preceded by a letter from the Police Office in Launceston which reads:

 

Police Office Launceston

10 April 1826

 

                  Sir,

                                                      I have the honour to enclose herewith

Return of Children whose parents or guardians wish them to be admitted in an Orphan School.

                                    I have the honour to be

                                    Sir,

                                                Your most obedient,

                                                Humble Servant,

                                                           

                                                Captain Montagu

 

but the collected data may refer to 1825 or earlier, it is listed as page 35. The listings are grouped under districts and the children are classified as follows

 

Class

Description

1

Implies children entirely destitute

2

Those being in danger of vice from the example of their parents

3

Those requiring aid from distress, or from being of large families and their parents unable to support them

Table 7 : Classes of Destitute Children

The details relating to George and possibly his neighbours for the district of Breadalbane[57] are on page 34 as follows:

     

Parents or

Guardians Names

Description

Children’s Names

Age

Class

William Windsor

Free

Hanna

7

2

 

 

Elizabeth

6

2

 

 

James

3

2

 

 

Catherine

8m

2

Thomas Prosser[58]

Free

Margaret

7[59]

3

Sarah Hopkins

Free

Sarah

7

3

George Trowbridge

Free

John

4

3

Thomas Webb

Free

Mary Anne

2

3

Table 8 : Children at risk at Breadalbane, VD

The above record suggests  that George had indeed formed a new liaison in Tasmania and had a son named John, born sometime before 1821. The Tasmanian  ‘Pioneers Index’[60] of births marriages and deaths lists several individuals with the ‘Trowbridge’ name see the next section. The second extract from CSO1 /119 refer to 1828 but again the data maybe earlier. The extract for the district of Breadalbane is on page 64 and is entitled, “Females having both parents living but in distress”.

 

Childs Name

Names of Parent or Guardian

Age

Character[61]

School

Reador write

Elizb. Jessop

Patrk. Keane

8

Indifferent

no

no

Jane Quin

Timothy Quin

12

ditto

no

no

Sarah Hopkins

Thomas Webb

4

bad

no

no

Mary Trowbridge

Thomas Webb

8

bad

no

no

Table 9 : Females Children at risk at Breadalbane, VDL

The table only refers to females and it is impossible to be sure of the family groupings by 1828 but one can speculate that George, by then, was not supporting Mary or indeed John. Further evidence that John was the son of George was found in the record of a Bulk Registration of Births and  Baptism made by Thomas and Sarah Webb in the parish of Norfolk Plains, Tasmania[1] in 1834 in which the following entries occur:

No 186: January 5th , 1822: John, Parents George Trowbridge & Sarah Hopkins, South Esk, Labourer

No 187: March 10th , 1824: Mary, Parents Thomas & Sarah Webb, South Esk, Farmer

 It seems likely that Thomas Webb  had taken over the young family and was now living with the mother of George’s children. We know that some time before 1835 George had sold his landholding to Thomas Prosser who himself had care of destitute children. It is difficult to avoid the depressing conclusion that George’s parlous condition in Wiltshire was repeating itself in Tasmania . John’s mother Sarah was in fact one of the convict women listed in the book by Philip Tardiff, ‘Notorious Strumpets and Dangerous Girls’ (NSDG) [2] in which her history has been pieced together by an exhaustive study of the relevant records. She was born Sarah Smith  in Surrey(~1800) and was convicted of Larceny at Surrey Quarter Session on 13 January 1818 and sentenced to be transported for 7 years. She had arrived at George Town in 1819, where she married Joseph Hopkins  [3] at Launceston. Her husband who was a free man died by drowning in 1820. There is a bald reference to George Trowbridge in NSDG in the section on Sarah Smith  which states:

 

1823: 7 April G Trowbridge. Being drunk, fined 5 shillings.

 

From this it appears that Sarah was fined[4] whilst under the ‘care’ of George, the destitute children’s records and the later bulk birth registration would imply that she may have been assigned to George as a servant and became his common law wife.  Clearly the relationship did not last as by the time of the bulk registration Sarah was with Thomas Webb and perhaps by 1824 as Mary had even by then taken on the surname Webb. Sarah in fact married Thomas Webb  in 1836[5]. The ultimate fate of George is still unknown that he lived until 1824 is certain but beyond that we have no evidence.


 

[1] Tasmanian Archives Office, Hobart, I am greatly indebted to Lynne Lucas (glklucas@netspace.net.au) for this information and for many suggestions.

[2] ‘Notorious Strumpets & Dangerous Girls’, Convict Women in Van Diemen’s Land, 1803-1829, Philip Tardiff, Angus & Robertson, 1990

[3] Joseph Hopkins   had been on the same convict ship as George Trowbridge

[4] A significant sum in those days

[5] There is a great deal of interest in Sarah today as many of the Hopkins and Webb descendants together with others have formed an internet group known as ‘Sarah Seekers’ in order to pool the results of their research. The contacts are Bob Pearson (raenbob@optusnet.com.au) and Anne Devereaux ( annd@iinet.net.au ).

Map 2 : Northern Tasmania

Map of Northern Tasmania showing the position of George Town (formerly Port Dalrymple), St Leonards (formerly Patterson Plains) and  Breadalbane

Back to top

Trowbridges in Tasmania

The Pioneers Index lists the following persons bearing the ‘Trowbridge’ name

Surname

Given Names

Sex

Event

Age

Father/Spouse

Mother/Spouse

Spouse Age

Reg.Place

Day

Month

Year

Trowbridge

John

M

M

A

Bowen

Temperance

A

Hobart

01

MAR

1851

Trowbridge

John

M

B

 

John

U Temperance

 

Hobart

06

JAN

1852

Trowbridge

John

M

D

1

John

 

 

Hobart

27

N0V

1853

Trowbridge

Henry James

M

B

 

John

Boyne Temperance

 

Hobart

02

APR

1854

Trowbridge

Catharine

F

D

73

 

 

 

Hobart

21

SEP

1855

Trowbridge

Clara Louisa

F

B

 

John

Bowen Temperance

 

Hobart

I6

JUN

1856

Trowbridge

John Tolbart

M

B

 

John

Bowen Temperence

 

Hobart

13

OCT

1859

Trowbridge

Tasman

M

B

 

John

Bowen Temperance Josephin

 

Hobart

03

JUN

1863

Trowbridge

Walter Clarence

M

B

 

John

Bowen Temperance

 

Hobart

04

MAY

1866

Trowbridge

Alice Catherine

F

B

 

John

Bowen Temperance

 

Hobart

18

AUG

1869

Trowbridge

Amy Josephine

F

B

 

John

Bowen Temperance Josphne

 

Fingal

01

SEP

1872

Trowbridge

John

M

D

62

 

 

 

Fingal

18

N0V

1877

Trowbridge

Temperence Josephine

F

D

52

 

 

 

Portland

08

JAN

1880

Trowbridge

Lorna

F

C

 

Walter Clarence

U Clara Lavinia

 

Hobart

04

JAN

1883

Trowbridge

Clara Louisa

F

M

28

Mcgough

Charles

40

Fingal

22

APR

1885

Trowbridge

John Talbot

M

M

30

Moy

Rose

25

Fingal

15

OCT

1889

Trowbridge

M

M

B

 

John Talbot

Moy Rose

 

Portland

27

NOV

1890

Trowbridge

Francis Talbot

M

B

 

John Talbot

Moy Rose Harriet

 

Portland

02

OCT

1891

Trowbridge

Doris Josephine

F

B

 

John Talbot

Moy Rose Harriette

 

Ringarooma

12

APR

1894

Trowbridge

Henry Charles

M

B

 

John Talbot

Moy Rose Harriette

 

Strahan

19

MAY

1895

Trowbridge

M

M

D

0

John Talbot

 

 

Portland

27

NOV

1898

Trowbridge

Tasman

M

M

35

Alcock

Mary Louisa

18

Hobart

14

SEP

1898

 

Table 10 : ‘Trowbridges in the Tasmanian Pioneers Index (U = Unknown Surname)

The Pioneers Index  lists the persons bearing the ‘Trowbridge’ name, see   Table 17, and from this archive it is certainly possible that John Trowbridge who married Temperance Bowen in 1851 is George’s son. Further information about this family occurs in the Hobart licensing records for 1851 to 1865[1]where it is recorded that John was a publican in Hobart being the licensee of several Public Houses including the  ‘General Washington’ (Murray St. 1852-1855), ‘Prince of Orange’ (Liverpool St, 1856-1857), ‘Two Mile Inn’ (New Town, 1858), ‘Talbot’ (New Town, 1859-1862), and the ‘Tasmanian ‘Steam Navigation Hotel’ (Elizabeth St, 1863 to 1865). The name Talbot (Tolbart[2]) is interesting both in the second name of John’s own son John (b. 1859) and in the name of one his pubs.


 

[1] See letter from Robyn Eastley, loc cit

[2] In the local accent Talbot would possibly sound like Tolbart

 

The following family tree can be constructed from this data with some assumptions as follows

The chart above shows a conjectured family tree for the descendants of George & Sarah. There are some inconsistencies, namely in the quoted ages, i.e. John’s age at death is given in the Pioneers Index as 62 whereas the destitute children’s report implies that he would have been only 57, a five year discrepancy. However quoted ages are notoriously unreliable and it is likely that the age recorded in the child survey would be reasonably accurate. Of course John’s father may have been an entirely different ‘Trowbridge’ but no other antecedents for John have been discovered consistent with his age[1]. The Catherine Trowbridge listed who died aged 73 in 1855 is a possible candidate for John’s mother, Georges wife, or many other possibilities and these are still open questions. Some of these maybe settled by DNA testing of descendants Sarah with the author.
 


 

[1] Tasmania Convict Index for Ship ‘Augusta Jessie’ lists: Richard Trowbridge convicted for life at Wilts Assizes 15 Jul 1834.

 Also there is some later information on the descendents of John. First his grandson Henry Charles was killed in Palestine on 1st November, 1917, aged 22; he was a trooper on the 3rd Australian Light Horse and is buried at the Beersheba War Cemetery in Israel[65]. Secondly the Tasmanian Archive Office checked their registered company’s lists and found a firm called Trowbridge Pty. Ltd as well as some other business activities.

 Trowbridge Pty. Ltd.

  1.  Trowbridge Pty.Ltd. was formed by a Memorandum and Articles of Association on the 20 September, 1934. Its first directors and only shareholders were M.W. Trowbridge (glaze artist) and ML. Davies glazer, The registered office was at 55 Cameron Street, Launceston and it was founded for the purpose or taking over the business of “Glaze working and general merchants heretofore carried on by Malcolm Ward Trowbridge”.

  2. The Registered Office was changed to the corner of Elizabeth and Bathurst Streets on the 16 October’ 1940 and the company appears to have ceased business sometime after 1941 and. was struck off the register on 19 March 1947. (Sc 331). There are no references to this company moving to Hobart, although, of course, it may well have conducted a branch here.

  3. The following are references found to businesses being carried on by various people with the surname of Trowbridge.

SC 342/3 No, 1.459 Trowbridge Bros. Tasman and Walter, ‘Importers’ 22 July 1912.

Trowbridge Tasman, picture framer, 59 Liverpool Street, Hobart

SC 31.2/7 No  3236 Trowbridge and. Leadlight Manufacturing and   Manufacturers 
( Agent 154 Collins Street, Hobart, registered 20 May 1931)

Back to top

  HOME


References

 

[1] C.W.Trowbridge, The Trowbridge Family History, 1690-1990, D’Arcy Publications, 1990(91)

[2] HO 27 Criminal Register Indexes, PRO Kew, transcribed by Stuart Tamblin 1998.

[3] 10 Dec 1775, Berwick St John, WIL, Baptism, 1775: Dec 10th George son of George and Hester Trowbridge, Communicated by the Vicar 30 Aug, 1963, CWT, Now in CRO, Trowbridge.

[4] 6 Apr 1799, Ebbesbourne Wake, WIL, Marriage, George Trowbridge and Ann Trowbridge, April 6., Parish Church, Now in CRO, Trowbridge, Vicar, 1963.

[5] 1788 onwards, Ebbesbourne Wake, WIL, “Churchwardens accounts,” CRO, Trowbridge, 940/3, CWT 951201-4.

[6] Lent Assizes, New Sarum, PRO ASSI 25/5/10 Indictment

[7] Lent Assizes, New Sarum, PRO Calendar of Prisoners, Goal Books etc. ASSI 23/9, ASSI 21/22

[8] Quarter Sessions Easter 1808, CRO ‘Trowbridge’, A1/125/46BB

[9] Summer Assizes, New Sarum, PRO ASSI 25/106, Indictment ASSI 21/27, 23/10, Crown and Gaol Books ASSI, Transportation Order book ASSI 24/28

[10] Sheriif’ Bills , PRO T90/169

[11] Victualling Returns for Hulk Portland, PRO T38/327

[12] PRO HO 9/8, Page 75 on ‘Portland’ list of prisoners

[13] Indent of the Somersetshire, State Records Office, NSW, Fiche 635, Vol 4./4005, p24, private communication from Coralie Hird, Dee Why, NSW

[14] A settlement on the north coast of Van Diemans Land (Tasmania) at the mouth of the R Tamar, later called Georgetown

[15] 1815 Colonial Secs letters, Reel 6004, Vol 4/3494

[16] 1817 Muster PRO HO/8/9

[17] 1820 Muster PRO HO/10/13

[18] 1821 Muster PRO HO/10/18

[19] 20 Aug 1817, Ebbesbourne Wake, WIL, “Burial,” Ann Trowbridge buried Aug 20 aged 40, Parish Church, Now in CRO, Trowbridge, Vicar, 1963.

[20] James is the author’s GG Grandfather, see C W Trowbridge, The Trowbridge Family History 1690-1990,1991 for further information of both the descendents and ancestry of George and Ann

[21] PRO ASSI 25/5/10

[22] Married Jane Trowbridge in 1811, widower

[23] Witness in the marriage of George and Ann, 1799

[24] George’s brother

[25] Possibly baptised Donhead St Mary, 1767, a cousin of George

[26] PRO ASSI 23/9

[27] 1808, CRO Trowbridge, A1/125/46BB

[28] 1813, Summer Assizes New Sarum Indictment and Verdict,  PRO ASSI 25/10/6

[29] 1813

[30] 1802

[31] i.e. 6th November 1807

[32] See Map over

[33] We are now back in 1813

[34] Maybe a word scratched out

[35] George was born 1776 in Berwick St John, married Ann Trowbridge in Ebbesbourne Wake in 1999 where their eldest son James (direct ancestor - my GG Grandfather)  was born in 1800. The family lived in Ebbesbourne Wake and George is mentioned in the parish record several times. He disappears from view in 1812 until now

[36] 1813

[37]   Difficult to decipher this sentence which is follwed by a sqiggled line.

[38]  Signed by

[39]  Summer Circuit 1813: Transportation Order Book, PRO ASSI 24/28

[40] Direct Ancestor of Coralie Hird, NSW

[41] Salisbury Journal, August 7th, 1813

[42] Sheriff’s Accounts, PRO T90/169

[43] PRO HO 9/8 List of convicts held on the Hulk ‘Portland’ 1813-1814

[44] Masters Victualling Accounts, PRO, PRO T38/327

[45] Indent of the Somersetshire, State records Office, NSW, Fiche 635, Vol 4./4005, p24

[46] The Transport Vessel ‘Somersetshire’ was launched in London in 1810, 450 tons, her voyage to Australia in 1814 went via Madiera and Rio. She made a second voyage in 1841 when there was a mutiny on board, see ‘Convict Ships’, Charles Bateson, Brown & son, 1967

[47] Colonial Sec. Papers, 1815, page 4951

[48] 1817 Muster PRO HO/8/9

[49] 1820 Muster PRO HO/10/13

[50] 1821 Muster PRO HO/10/18

[51] Letter from Robyn Eastley, senior archivist, 4 April 2000

[52] LSD 1 /2 page 21, Archives Office of Tasmania

[53] Named after Col Paterson founder of Launceston but the area is now St Leonard’s a suburb of Launceston

[54] Underlined words were guessed as the original is difficult to decipher

[55] 1762-1824

[56] CSO1 /119, 1826-8, Colonial Secretaries Office, Archives Office of Tasmania

[57] A district 7 miles SE of Launceston

[58] Possibly the same Thomas Prosser who bought George’s landholding, see (a) above.

[59] Could be months or years?

[60] See Tasmania Archives Office also available on line.

[61] Hard to decipher

[62] See letter from Robyn Eastley, loc cit

[63] In the local accent Talbot would possibly sound like Tolbart

[64] Tasmania Convict Index for Ship ‘Augusta Jessie’ lists: Richard Trowbridge convicted for life at Wilts Assizes 15 Jul 1834.

[65] Commonwealth War Graves Commission

[66] Tasmania White Pages, 2000

 

Back to top

HOME

Revised 5 March, 2008