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Details for the convict Seth Hawker (1817)

Convict Name:Seth Hawker
Trial Place:Somerset Quarter Sessions
Trial Date:14 October 1816
Sentence:7 years
Arrival Details
Ship:Lord Eldon
Arrival Year:1817
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Researchers who have claimed this convict

There is currently one researcher who has claimed Seth Hawker

  • Researcher (David Hawker)
Claimed convict


Seth Hawker was the third of six children born about Feb 1796 to George Hawker and Rachel Edwards and christened in St. Bartholomew's Parish Church Crewkerne Somerset on the 9th March 1796. Seth’s siblings are Martha base born Feb 1791 Trull as George and Rachel married 27 April 1791 in Wilton near Taunton Somerset, George 1792 Crewkerne, Catherine was buried in the Churchyard at Crewkerne 13 Aug 1797, Abel Nov 1797 Crewkerne and Isaac 17 Oct 1801 Bishops Hull.
In 1803 aged seven Seth was indentured to a Mr Waterman in Bishops Hull near Taunton Somerset probably as a child to do labouring jobs around the farm in return for food and lodgings. The family must have lived in Bishops Hull by this time as Isaac was born in there.
In 1816 aged 20 Seth was the servant of William Mullings the tenant farmer of Longlands Farm which lies between Bishops Hull and Bishops Lydeard in the Parish of Bishops Lydeard Somerset and it was on the 6th September 1816 that Seth and his brother George who lived in Bishops Hull were caught by William Mullings Gibbs, Mullings nephew between ten and eleven at night in the fowl house stealing six chickens. For this on the 14th October 1816 they were sentenced in the Somerset Quarter Sessions to seven years transportation.
Seth and George were received at the prison hulk ‘Justitia’ at Woolwich on 25th Nov 1816 and remained there until they left England on the 11th April 1817 on the convict ship ‘Lord Eldon’ of 583 tons built at Shields England in 1802. On the ship were also the first Shiraz grape vines to come to Australia sourced from France by John McArthur. The ship arrived in Sydney via Madeira and Rio on the forenoon of the 30th Sept 1817, only 4 convicts died during the 174 day passage. It is impossible to imagine what conditions Seth endured during this voyage.
From Governor Macquarie’s diary 1817 (All articles from web sites in blue)
“Tuesday 30th. Sepr. !!!
The Lord Eldon Male Convict Ship commanded by Capt. Jas. Thos. Lamb, anchored this forenoon in the Harbour from England which she left on the 21st. of April last – having touched at Rio Janeiro. 215 (out of 220 Embarked) male Convicts have arrived in good Health on board the Lord Eldon, guarded by a Detachment of 30 men of the 46th. Regt. under the command of Lt. Norman Mc.Lean of the Royals or 1st. Regt. of Foot. — Doctr. Bowman is come out as Surgeon & Supdt. of the Lord Eldon. — Mr. Mc.Arthur and his two sons have also arrived as Passengers on board the Lord Eldon.”
Seth was taken from Sydney by Captain Brooks to work on his properties and the next account found is on the 15th April 1822 when as a Convict overseer on Captain Brooks farm at Illawarra some 200 Km south along the coast from Sydney.
Koonawarra is a southern suburb of Wollongong, New South Wales, Australia. It is located on the western shore of Lake Illawarra. Koonawarra, or Exmouth, as it was then called, was one of the first five land grants located in the Illawarra. It was a grant of 1300 acres made to Richard Brooks in 1817. The grant faced Lake Illawarra and extended from Brook's Creek to Mullet Creek. Koonawarra was the aboriginal name for the area.
Seth was sent out with a group of men to find out why the dogs were barking. They discovered Aborigines stealing corn and sent them off the property. Subsequently that night the dogs barked again and Seth was
sent on his own with a musket and the dogs to investigate. An Aboriginal woman was stealing corn again and apparently took no notice of Seth. He fired a shot that wounded her and the dogs attacked. She was found dead next morning in the field. Seth was tried for murder in Sydney and was exonerated by the judge for doing an admirable job looking after his master’s property.
Submitted by Researcher (David Hawker) on 13 May 2018

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Research notes

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  • The National Archives (TNA) : HO 11/2, p.332

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