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Details for the convict Lucy Rabbitts (1836)

Convict Name:Lucy Rabbitts
Trial Place:Surrey Quarter Session
Trial Date:14 September 1835
Sentence:7 years
Notes:
 
Arrival Details
Ship:Arab II
Arrival Year:1836
 
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Researchers who have claimed this convict

There is currently one researcher who has claimed Lucy Rabbitts

  • Researcher (Shivaun Tijou)
Claimed convict

Biographies

Lucy Rabbitts was born in Frome, Somerset, England c1812 and baptised in nearby Nunney 04 April 1813. Her parents were Thomas Rabbitts and Hannah Brown. She married Edmund Flitt 16 June 1833 at St Giles Church, South Mimms, Hertfordshire. She could sign her name, like her husband (though she sometimes left a mark on later documents indicating she could not write).

Edmund was imprisoned twice after their marriage. They had two daughters: Lucy, baptised 24 July 1834 in Chipping Barnet, and Jane Elizabeth, born 1835. Lucy and Edmund were convicted of stealing a coat and other articles from a house in Kingston, Surrey (possibly the one in which she worked as a house servant). At their trial 14 September 1835, they were both sentenced to seven years transportation. Edmund died on HMS Leviathan, moored at Portsmouth, Hampshire, 17 May 1836 aged 24.

Lucy was transported 10 December 1835 on board the ‘Arab’. Lucy was tried under her maiden name and ‘Lucy Rabbitts, police number 151’ was who she was known as her whole convict ‘career’. The day after they sailed, Lucy was put on the sick list suffering from diarrhoea but was discharged four days later, according to the medical journal of William Rogers, surgeon on board the Arab.

Lucy arrived in Hobart 25 April 1836 and an indent was written, describing her as: 4’11”, oval face, dark brown hair, dark brown eyes, a wide mouth and appeared to have a tattoo on each arm (one of which said ‘Edward F’).
She was sent to Cascades Female Factory in South Hobart and very quickly established a poor conduct record. Lucy’s record shows she worked for the Bilton family (most likely as a domestic servant), just north of Hobart. In July she went absent from service and had to do ‘wash tub’ for a month.

In October of the same year, Lucy was absent without permission from the Orphan School (where she had probably been reassigned). This resulted in being put on bread and water for six days as punishment. Two months later she absconded.

In October 1837, she was severely reprimanded for ‘immoral conduct’ with fellow convict, William Grey. She and William had applied earlier in the year for permission to marry. The application was not rejected but there seems to be no record of their marriage.

William had arrived in Van Diemen’s Land on board the ‘Caledonia’ 22 November 1822 and spent the next 15 years in and out of trouble. Life with Lucy may have mellowed William somewhat as no further bad conduct was listed against him. However, Lucy found it difficult to live with her new husband citing their 'constant disagreement'. Divorce was not possible in their situation and Lucy was reassigned to the Factory 22 May 1839 – thereby instigating their marital separation.

Lucy seemed to be a model convict from that point and having met the requirement of four years’ service, she was granted a ticket-of-leave May 1840 on the occasion of Queen Victoria’s birthday. Lucy was now allowed to hire herself out or be self-employed.

In 1842, Lucy was given a Free Certificate upon completion of her sentence and she returned to England. She married George Chilvers 23 January 1844 at St George’s Church, Bloomsbury, London. She stated she was a widow. Lucy was able to re-establish herself in her two daughters’ lives and attend their marriages. Lucy Junior had been brought up by Edmund’s parents and Jane most likely by Lucy’s parents.

Lucy and George went on to have five children: Mary Ann, Louisa, Emma, Elizabeth and George. Two of their daughters later emigrated to Australia to live. George Senior died in 1858 and Lucy managed as a laundress. She died sometime after 1871.

Sources: England Census, Australian Convict Transportation Registers, England & Wales Criminal Registers, BMD indexes, parish records, NSW and Tasmania Convict Musters (ancestry.com); conduct record, Convict Applications For Permissions to Marry (www.linc.tas.gov.au); trove.nla.gov.au (digitised newspapers)
Submitted by Researcher (Shivaun Tijou) on 3 November 2015

Disclaimer: The information has not been verified by Claim a Convict. As this information is contributed, it is the responsibility of those who use the data to verify its accuracy.

Research notes

There are currently no research notes attached to this convict.

Sources

  • The National Archives (TNA) : HO 11/10, p.216

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