Although Queen Elizabeth I of England introduced the notion of punishing criminals by sending them to another country as early as 1619, the term transportation seems to have come into vogue around 1680 during Charles II’s reign. It was intended to be an alternative to execution and it became a formal concept in 1717 with George III’s ‘Transportation Act’. It was refined even more in 1767 when a 14 year sentence was added to it. At the time, judges could hand down a death sentence but could recommend mercy and if the King agreed, it could be commuted to transportation. Interestingly, it is said that in 1788 there were 160 crimes that were punishable by hanging in England. They included stealing sheep, cattle, clothes and goods worth £2 or more.
Charles Bateson’s “The Convict Ships 1787-1868″ is regarded as the definitive guide to Australia’s period of transportation. Information is given about voyages to New South Wales, Tasmania, Norfolk Island and Western Australia and accounts range from the life on board for both crew and convict right through to records of deaths, numbers of convicts, and the length of each voyage. More information is here. This is another helpful site for Australian family research.
James and Ann had seven children, I have identified from the Independent Chapel records some of the children were John born in 1816 and Mary born in 1818.
Charles and Thomas Snow were the sons of James and Ann. Charles was born on 28 February 1821 and christened 28 May 1821 at the Independent Chapel. Thomas was born 1817 but there is no record of his christening.
Charles Snow was found guilty of burglary in the dwelling house of Ann Willet and transported in the winter of 1837-1838 along with another member of the Snow family Thomas, his brother. They were both on board the MV Emma Eugenia. Charles who was 18 and Thomas who was 20 were both sentenced to life.
|Report of the trial - Ugley is the next village
|They sailed from Portsmouth on 6 November 1837 and the trip took 95 days arriving at Port Jackson on 9 February 1838. There were 200 people on board the ship. The MV Emma Eugenia was built in Whitby in 1833 and was 383 tonnes. On arrival in New South Wales in 1838, Charles Snow was fortunate unlike his brother was put to work on a gang, building a breakwater on Goat Island in Sydney Harbour, working under very harsh conditions. In June 1839 Charles was assigned to a master in the Braidwater - Larbert area of southern New South Wales.
Charles Snow married Harriett Jennings, an Australian girl on 18 September 1855 in Braidwood, New South Wales and they had 12 children including a child they called Charles Snow. The younger Charles Snow married Sarah Lester.
After Charles Snow (senior) had served his sentence he received his land grant and became a landowner and named his property “Limekilns” in Larbert area, Braidwood, New South Wales, Australia. He began burning lime and in late years he went on to own many acres of land and was a successful farmer with the help of his sons. Charles and Sarah’s grand daughter still lives on part of that property today - her property is the 1st leasehold Charles Senior was granted by the Government after becoming a free man. The two photographs of Charles’s and Harriet’s home “Limekilns” as it was in the 1950’s The left hand picture shows a slab building, this was the first residence for Charles and Harriet. The old kiln still exists that Charles built as does the old family home “Limekilns”
Thomas, Charles’s brother was sent to Morton Bay in Queensland which was notorious for cruelty to the convicts after his release he took his own life at the age of 42 with a gun. This was in 1859 in Dalby Queensland. Queensland Death reg no 1859/C81. He is buried at Charleys Creek, Dalby, Queensland.