Crime & Punishment

James Hayman - Transported for stealing potatoes

James Hayman 2016-10-25T14:26:37+00:00

We understand that James Hayman married Hannah Gough in Alveston on 31st January 1825 although James was then described as “James Highman” and Hannah was called “Hannah Goff”.  They may have lived outside Thornbury until 1830.  From that time they had several children baptised at St Mary’s Church in Thornbury when their address was given as “Borough”.  Of their children we know that Elizabeth was baptised in April 1830, James in August 1831, William in May 1833 and Harriet in November 1835.  We also believe that there was a daughter Emma born in 1827 and a child called Frances Gough, born before Hannah’s marriage to James Hayman.

There are records of previous convictions in 1826 and 1831 for larceny by a person called James Hayman but we cannot be sure that this is the same person.  James was indicted for stealing two sacks of potatoes from Job Hodges at Gloucester Quarter Sessions on 5th January 1836.  He was found guilty and sentenced to seven years and three months.
He was sent to Prison Hulk ‘Justitia’ berthed at Chatham where he was received from Gloucester on 20th January 1836.

The records show James was a labourer aged 33 and born in Devonshire.  He was described as being 5ft 8 inches with a dark sallow complexion, dark brown hair and hazel grey eyes.  He had lost a front upper tooth.  His distinguishing marks included tattoos of a mermaid, anchor, the letters I.H. and a mark of a bite on his lower right arm.  On his lower left arm his tattoos were of Neptune, three pronged fork and the initials H.H.

He arrived in Australia on 8th May 1837 on a transport ship called Prince George which set sail on 20th December 1836 with 250 convicts.  At that time James was aged about 33 or 34.  The records show an estimated birth year of 1804.

James left a wife and family back in Thornbury and they did not fare too well in his absence.  Hannah had another child, George Hayman, who was baptised on 11th July 1838.  She may have gone into the Poor House to live as one of her children, William died there aged six years in February 1839.

James received his ticket of leave from the Australian authorities in 1842 at Parramatta.  We understand that James married Ellen Sullivan on 3rd April 1848 at Castle Hill, Dooral, Dural, NSW.  According to the family members who have researched his history in Australia, James and Ellen had eight children.

We know nothing of James’s wife Hannah back in England until 1851 when the Census of that year described her as a widow living in Back Street, Thornbury.  She was working as a charwoman and was said to have been born in Olveston.  She had a lodger living with her called Elizabeth Alsop who was also a widow and a pauper and who worked as a charwoman.

In this Census of 1851 Hannah’s daughter Fanny (or Frances) was a servant in a dairy as was another daughter, Elizabeth.  George then aged 14 was an agricultural labourer.  The household included Hannah’s two grandchildren.  One of these was Harriet, the daughter of the unmarried Emma and the other was named Selina.  We believe that Selina was the daughter of Frances Gough (known as Fanny) who was also unmarried.  Selina was born in the Poor House at Alveston and baptised 15th March 1848.  Both girls were aged three.

James and Hannah’s daughter Emma Hayman married Job Gough on 5th October 1851.  Emma’s father was said to be James Hayman a labourer and there was no mention that he might have died.  We have found no record of Emma and Job Gough having children of their own in Thornbury.  Emma’s sister Frances however had at least one more child Sarah Ann Gough also born in the workhouse and baptised on 20th December 1854.  We do not know what happened to Frances Gough.
In 1858 Emma and Job Gough emigrated to Australia in June 1858 sailing on the Herald of the Morning.  The sailing record shows they had ‘in their charge two orphan children’ who were the children of Frances Gough; Selina and Sarah Ann.

The sailing record shows Job was a farm labourer, they were of Wesleyan religion and whilst Job could read and write, Emma could only read.  Interestingly the record also says that whereas Job’s parents (George and Jane Gough) lived in Thornbury, Emma’s mother lived in Thornbury but her father James was “in coloney” and that her father was living at Windsor in New South Wales.

We do not know much about the life of James Hayman in Australia or even if he was reunited with his daughter Emma and his grandchildren.  We do know that one of the children he had with his second wife Ellen was called Elizabeth.  She was born in 1852 in Moreton Bay New South Wales and she died in a very tragic manner when she was nine years old in July 1862.  It is possible that James Hayman was not very successful financially or he may just have had too many children.  When James and Ellen’s daughter Elizabeth died from extensive burns at the home of a farmer Daniel James Smallwood in Lower Pitt Town near Windsor she had already been living at the Smallwood’s farm “for some time”.  Elizabeth had got up in the night and had a drink of water, then feeling cold she had sat by the fire.  Her nightdress caught alight and she died the next day of the shock caused by her burns.

James Hayman died in Windsor on 24th May 1886 aged 90.

Return to Crime & Punishment

Sorry - contact us if you need this image