Crime and Punishment

Nicholas Landfear and Henry Tudor - sheep stealers

Nicholas Landfear and Henry Tudor 2016-10-25T14:26:38+00:00

Nicholas Landfear and Henry Tudor were two Thornbury men who were charged on suspicion of feloniously stealing one ewe sheep of the value of forty shillings the property of Edward Doward, an innkeeper and land owner of Alveston.

When the case was heard at Gloucester Assizes on 11th August 1832, both men were found guilty and sentenced to be transported to Van Diemans Land (Tasmania) for life.  They sailed there on the ship Jupiter on 31st December 1832.  It is interesting to note that their sentence was passed just after the punishment for sheep stealing was changed to transportation.  Prior to that, it seems, the punishment was hanging.

Nicholas Landfear – was living in Thornbury with his family at the time of his conviction and he appears to have been living there since at least 1828.  Prison records at Gloucester described him as being a hurdle maker aged 37, 5ft 5 1/4 inches tall, having dark brown hair, light blue eyes, long face sallow complexion, a scar on his right arm, several moles on his arms, two moles and two white scars near the navel and a large mole a little above his rump.  He was said to be ‘rather lame in his right ancle’ and not able read nor write.  His conduct in prison was said to be ‘orderly’.

According to family historians who have written about Nicholas on the Internet Nicholas was working in Crawley in Hampshire in 1808 when he was involved in a court settlement examination.  The report said that his parents travelled about the country looking for work.  We know that in 1818 Nicholas married Mary Limbrick.  We are very grateful to Janine Manville for telling us that they married at at St Mary de Lode in Gloucester on June 8th 1818.  Mary was the daughter of Thomas Limbrick, a labourer and was born about 1796.  The 1851 census shows she was born in Westbury on Severn, Gloucestershire.

Nicholas and Mary had at least five children:  Mary Ann born in Westbury on Severn in 1821, Edith born in Cheltenham and baptised at Taynton on 22nd June 1823, Henry born in Cheltenham and baptised there on 25th January 1826, Louisa baptised on 21st September 1828 (born in Thornbury according to the census) and Rosina baptised in St Mary’s Church, Thornbury on 28th March 1830 in Thornbury when their residence was shown to be Milbury Heath.

Unfortunately we don’t know much about Nicholas’s time in Australia, nor when he died.  We do know that the Hobart Town Crier reported on 23rd March 1838 that Nicholas had been transferred from J. Griffiths of Campbell Town to Hugh Cane of the same person.  We assume this to be the name of the free person to whom Nicholas was sent to work.  In August 1844 Nicholas’s name was put forward to the Queen for her to grant him a conditional pardon and he was given his ‘ticket for leave’ in 1845.

Meanwhile back in Thornbury, on 6th November 1836 Mary’s two year old son James was buried in Thornbury.  We do not know who was James’s father.  The 1840 Tithe Survey shows Mary living in a little cottage which became known as 5 Gloucester Road in Thornbury.

At the time of the 1841 census Mary was living in Gillingstool Hill.  She was a charwoman aged 40, with Mary Ann aged 20, Louise aged 12, Rosina aged 11, Charles aged 1 and George aged 10 months.  We know that little George was Mary’s grandson, baptised in Thornbury on 16th August 1840, the illegitimate son of Mary Ann.  Charles was also baptised the same day and he was said to be the son of Mary – we don’t know whether this meant another child of Mary Ann’s or of her mother, Mary.  When Charles married in 1861 it was noted that he was the son of Nicholas Lanfear, a labourer.

On 12th February 1844 Mary Ann Landfear, the daughter of Mary and Nicholas married William Voice of Thornbury a labourer.  This was interestingly a double wedding as Louisa Landfear (Mary Ann’s sister) and William Riddiford were witnesses to this marriage and were also married that day with Mary Ann and William Voice as witnesses.

Mary married again.  On 4th January 1847 she married Henry Sargent, a carpenter,  and they lived at 10 Upper Bath Road .  Henry was the son of Richard Sargent. Click here to read more about them.

Mary and Nicholas’s son, Henry, married Eliza Pearce in Littleton on 11th May 1848.  Their daughter Edith married George Gough junior on 2nd November 1851 in St Mary’s Church.

Henry Tudor – we don’t know much about Henry.  He was a labourer living in Thornbury aged 21 when he was convicted.  There is a mention of a Henry Tudor in the Maitland Mercury and Hunter River General Advertiser on 2nd November 1865.  It was said Henry was charged with cattle stealing at the Singleton Quarter Sessions.  We do not know if this is the same person.

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