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Details for the convict William Roberts (1788)

Convict Name:William Roberts
Trial Place:Bodmin
Trial Date:1786
Sentence:7
Notes:
 
Arrival Details
Ship:Scarborough
Arrival Year:1788
 
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There are currently 12 researchers who have claimed William Roberts

  • Researcher (1957)
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  • Researcher (Pamela Heather)
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Claimed convict

Biographies

William Roberts 1755 – 1820
William Roberts is my fourth great grandfather. He was most probably born in the Cornwell region of England about 1755, but little is known of his early life. On 14th August 1786 he was charged at the Bodmin Assizes with stealing “five pond and half weight of yarn (value 9 s), property of Wm Moffat” of Launceston. His sentence was for seven years transportation. William would then have been taken, probably in an open cart, to the gaol on the outskirts of Bodmin. On 25th September 1786 he was known to be on the hulk Dunkirk, moored in Plymouth Harbour and aged 30. His behaviour is recorded as being “tolerably decent and orderly”. On 11th March 1787 he was transferred to the convict ship Charlotte, then later to the Scarborough which carried 208 male convicts. The First Fleet set sail 0n Sunday 13th May, making stops first at Teneriffe then Rio De Janeiro and also Cape Town before the long haul across the Pacific to New South Wales. All the Fleet had arrived at Botany Bay by January 20th. However Phillip decided rather than at Botany Bay, to establish the colony at Port Jackson and it was here the Union Jack was raised on January 26th 1788.
At Port Jackson in 1788 William is recorded as working for Lt George Johnson and caring for his stock at Long Cove. On 8th January 1794 William received a grant of thirty acres “between the ground used as a brick field, without the town of Sydney, and the east end of the land allotted for the maintenance of a schoolmaster.” In July 1788 he had a hut in this area as it is recorded that some of his pork was stolen by a James Gray.
William formed an association with Kezia Brown who had arrived on the Neptune in 1790. Their son William was baptised on 4th September 1791, the first of ten children to be born to the couple. A daughter Mary was born in June 1793. William & Kezia were not married till August 1793. This suggests that William may have been married previously in England as, by then, any marriage would have been absolved and by this time as well William would have completed his sentence.
By mid 1800 William had purchased a farm at Mulgrave Place. He also owned ten hogs, had 13 acres sewn in wheat and 15 ready for maize. In 1802 he was renting 30 acres there and the household consisted of William, his wife, five children and one free employee – all off stores. In August 1804 he received a grant of 100 acres at Mulgrave Place & by 1806 was a substantial landholder. He was recorded as a landholder in the Windsor district in 1814.
William Roberts died on 14th February 1820 and was buried at St Matthews, Windsor in a family vault. His will, made only a week before his death, is one of the earliest to have survived in the colony. He left Hobby Farm (probably purchased from the grantee Thomas Hobby before 1806) to his son Edward with other land and stock divided amongst his children and grandchildren.






Submitted by Researcher (Pamela Heather) on 4 August 2014

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