Crime and Punishment

Charity Hogg - wrongly accused of theft

Charity Hogg 2016-12-15T18:33:20+00:00

Charity Hogg was born in Thornbury on 23rd November 1787 and baptised on 2nd January 1788.  She was the child of Joseph and Sarah Gough who lived rather intriguingly at a place  known as ‘the Pest House’ in Thornbury.   Sarah was a member of the well known Cossham family.

Charity Gough married John Hagg, or more often Hogg, a cordwainer on 18th October 1818.   Their children were Daniel baptised on 4th April 1819, William baptised 2nd May 1821 and Elizabeth baptised 6th January 1828.

John Hogg died aged 59 and was buried in St Mary’s churchyard in Thornbury on 20th September 1829.

By 1833 Charity Hogg then aged 45 was supporting her family by taking in washing and selling nuts.  She was living with her children and her two nieces Harriet and Hannah Davis.

From the few court records we have found it seems that on 8th July 1833 some coins were stolen from Sarah Gough.  These were variously reported as ‘ten sovereigns one guinea and four half guineas’ or ‘six sovereigns and a guinea’.  Sarah must have informed the authorities and a warrant was issued to search Charity’s house.  Probably this was the job of the parish constable as the police force was not formed in Gloucestershire until 1839.  The money was found there and Charity was charged with receiving stolen money.  Her nieces were also charged.  The trial took place in Gloucester on 10th August 1833.  Harriet Davis was found guilty of receiving stolen money and sentenced to be transported for 14 years.  Charity was also sentenced to 14 years transportation.  Charity’s other niece, Hannah Davis was acquitted of theft.  After the trial it seems that Hannah confessed that she alone was guilty.

Apparently Hannah later made a statement that she ‘went to her grandmothers house and got under the bed and then picked her grandmothers pocket of £13 13s 0d. and secreted the same ….unknown to any one and that no person whatever was in any way accessory thereto and to this she is ready and willing at any time to make an affidavit.’

Charity Hogg had even had an alibi for the time of the crime.  Apparently she had called at The Ship in Alveston on 7 or 8 o’clock on the evening of the crime and only arrived home to find a group of people outside her home who told her about the theft.  Charity was shocked when told and apparently exclaimed ‘more damn shame on them’.

A petition for clemency or memorial was raised by local residents which cited the fact that she was a widow with three children (by this time Daniel was 11 years old, William was aged 6 and Elizabeth was 3).  The petition was signed by 58 people from Thornbury and included Charity’s mother, Sarah who had actually  brought the charge.  The petition is held at Kew and the records show that covering letters are also held with the petition and these are from the Honourable G F Berkeley, Bedford, and William Barlow, Thornbury. (HO 17/41/162)

Charity’s sentence was reduced to two years’ imprisonment.  She was held in Gloucester County Gaol.  Her niece Harriet Davis who must have been equally innocent was sentenced to be transported for 14 years and left England on the S.S. Numa in August 1833.   Harriet made an application to marry Thomas Darcy in New South Wales in 1837.

The census of 1841 shows Charity Hogg was living in Monmouthshire at Trevethin, Pontypool.  She was aged about 50 but no occupation was given.  The household consisted of Daniel aged about 20, Elizabeth aged 10.  In a separate household in the same property was Ann Williams aged about 30 with George Williams aged 1.

In 1842 Charity then aged 54 got into trouble again.  This time she was tried at the Usk Quarter Sessions in Monmouthshire on 27th June 1842 with her son Daniel then aged 18.  Daniel had stolen a pair of trousers (other reports says a cloak) from Abraham Abrahams.  He was sentenced to 9 months imprisonment.  Charity was sentenced to ten years transportation.

This time there was no reprieve and on 7th September 1842 (also 2nd October 1842) she sailed on the Garland Grove from Woolwich with another 190 prisoners.   Her occupation was said to be a farm servant.  She arrived in Van Diemen’s Land on 20th January 1843.

She was said to be 5ft 4 inches tall with brown to grey hair, grey eyes and a round face.  She had a cut on her left wrist and apparently she could read.

She applied to marry William Leman (or Lemon) in 1848 and they were married on 7th February 1848 in Hobart Tasmania.  Charity Hogg was listed on 10th July 1852 in the Launceston Examiner as one of those convicts whose sentence had expired.  Charity Hogg aged 63 died in Hobart on 18th August 1856.  We cannot explain the discrepancy here in the surnames if she were a married woman.

In 1844 Charity’s son Daniel then aged 30 was again convicted for theft and this time he was  transported to Australia for seven years.  We have no record of what became of him.

 

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