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Details for the convict Joseph Richens (1833)

Convict Name:Joseph Richens
Trial Place:Wilts Assizes
Trial Date:2 March 1833
Arrival Details
Arrival Year:1833
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Researchers who have claimed this convict

There are currently 2 researchers who have claimed Joseph Richens

  • Researcher (12879)
  • Researcher (14334)
Claimed convict


Joseph Richens was born in Highworth, Wiltshire, England, about 1809, On 2.3.1833 Joseph (aged 24) was convicted of sheep stealing at the Wiltshire Lent Assizes, and sentenced to Life in Van Diemen’s Land, being transported on the “Stakesby” along with 215 other convicts.
Joseph was immediately granted a conditional Ticket of Leave and assigned to Mr. P Dunn of Maitland in Central North West Tasmania, where he remained as a servant. In 1847 he is noted in the Convict Muster in Tasmania (on arrival) as 24 years, 5’4”, complexion brown, hair dark brown, eyes light hazel, working as a ploughman having been transported for life. In 1842 he was charged with drunkenness and 1845 being absent from his residence. In 1848 he was granted an Unconditional Pardon on the basis that he “had been in possession of a Ticket of Leave beyond the usual time and the records against him being few and unimportant”.
There are no further records of this Joseph Richens. there is a record of Joseph Richens in Newcastle NSW which is most like NOT Joseph Richens the Convict due to the age discrepancy. A Joseph Richens(20) married Jane Eley (21) at St Andrews Presbyterian Church Maitland NSW by William Purcell on 19.11.1849. Their witnesses were Edward Kelsey and William Cassie. Joseph is described as a bachelor and Jane a spinster. Jane notes her father as John Eley, Gentleman.
Jane and Joseph’s marriage occurred just 2 months after her arrival in the Colony. It is not known when or how they met but they must have met very soon after Jane’s arrival allowing for the 6 weeks reading of the Marriage Banns. It is not known how long they remained in the Hunter Valley.
During their marriage Joseph’s occupation changed from a household servant to labourer, to gold miner and finally a blacksmith.
it appears that he spent 1854-62 mining for gold in the Sofala area and occasionally living in Sydney. he and Jane had six children - 5 girls and 1 boy. three of these girls are recorded with the surname of Richards and died in childhood. 23.10.1872 Joseph Richens was arrested in Sofala NSW for stealing a calf from his neighbor. The charges were dismissed when the judge ordered the neighbours to “shake hands” and repair their relationship.
At some time before 1888 the family moved to Sydney where it appears that John and Jane lived separately in the same street. Joseph is listed living in Marrickville from 1888 -1890 initially at 15 Steel St and then 19 Steel Street, where he died on 17.5.1890 from Pneumonia and Kidney Disease, he was a blacksmith aged 59 (more likely 69) The informant was Jane Richens, wife, Ladies Nurse 19 Steel St. age 59. He had been 49 years in the Colony. 1 male, 2 females living, 3 females deceased. He was buried 2 days later in the Church of England Section at Rookwood Cemetery.

His Death Certificate states that there were 3 living children – John George 1860, Elizabeth A 1861, Sarah E 1871 and 3 deceased daughters.
Submitted by Researcher (12879) on 2 September 2020

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Research notes

There are currently no research notes attached to this convict.


  • The National Archives (TNA) : HO 11/9, p.119

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