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Notices from Australian Newspapers (1819-1829) of Escaping Devon Prisoners

Compiled by Lindsey Withers

The Hobart Town Gazette - Saturday 3 April 1819
Police Office, March 22nd, 1819
The Under-mentioned Convicts having, on the Night of the 27th of February last, piratically cut-out and carried off the Schooner Young Lachlan from this Port, their Names and Descriptions are now published for general Information.
JOHN WALLIS, 5 ft. 3 ½ ins. high, pale complexion, light brown hair, hazel eyes, 21 years of age, is a seaman, native place Devonshire, was tried in the County Down in August 18178, and was transported for life; he was sent out in the Minerva (Bell) to Port Jackson, and from thence to this Settlement in the same ship.

Hobart Town Gazette - Saturday 27 April 1822
Police Office, Hobart Town, April 25th, 1822
Forty Pounds Reward. - Whereas four Men, one of them armed with a musket, supposed to be Convicts who have absconded from the Tea-tree Brush and whose Descriptions are underneath, entered the Dwelling-house of Richard Burroughs, near Sorell River, between two and three o'clock on the afternoon of Thursday, the 18th day of this month, and forcibly took and carried off a quantity of Flour and a Musket.
And whereas two Men, supposed to be Richard Oldrey and William Taylor, on the morning of Sunday last, attacked, and inhumanly beat and wounded, Edward Williams, the overseer of G. F. Read, Esq. on his master's farm, at the River Plenty, and too from his person a pair of boots, with which they made off.
All Constables and others are commanded to use their utmost exertions to apprehend the said Offenders; and a Reward of Ten Pounds will be paid for each, on being lodged in safe custody.
By order of A. W. H. Humphrey, J.P.
Superintendent of Police, W. English, Clerk.
DESCRIPTION - RICHARD OLDREY (No. 19) - 5 feet 7 ¼ inches high, brown hair, brown eyes, 33 years of age, a fisherman by trade, was tried in Devonshire in March 1819, and sentenced to be transported for 7 years; he came to this country on the ship Dromedary, was born in Devonshire, and has a man, woman, heart and crown pricked on his right arm, and a man, woman, 1819, R.O. & M.H. on his left.

The Sydney Gazette - Thursday 12 June 1823
Principal Superintendent's Office, June 11, 1823.
The undermentioned Prisoners having absented themselves from their respective Employments, and some of them at large with false Certificates, all Constables and others are hereby required to use their utmost Exertions in lodging them in safe Custody:-
JAS. CHARD, - Ship - Surrey, Age 27, Born - Devonhisre, 6 ft. 0 ½ , br. eyes, bl. hair, dark ruddy compl. Emu Plains.

The Sydney Gazette - Thursday 28 August 1823
Principal Superintendent's Office, Aug. 26, 1823
The undermentioned Prisoners having absented themselves from their respective Employments, and some of them at large with false Certificates, all Constables and others are hereby required to use their utmost Exertions in lodging them in safe Custody:-
JOHN ROWE, - ship - Hebe, Age 22, Born - Plymouth, 5 feet 7 inches high, hazel eyes, light brown hair, florid compl. Emu Plains.
SAM. SHEPHERD - Ship - Coromandel, Age 22, Born- Devonshire, 5 feet 1 inch and 3 quarters high, hazle eyes, black hair, dk. rud. compl. E. Pla.

The Sydney Gazette, Thursday 23 October 1823
Principal Superintendent's Office, Oct 23, 1823.
The undermentioned Prisoners having absented themselves from their respective Employments, and some of them at large with false Certificates, all Constables and others are hereby required to use their utmost Exertions in lodging them in safe Custody:-
C. L. BRIDGES, Ship - Surrey, Age 32, Born - Devon, 5 feet 7 and a quarter inches high, hazel eyes, light brown hair, pale comp. , at large with a false Emancipation.
S. SHEPPERD, -Ship - Coromandel, 24 years, Born - Devonshire, 5 feet 1 and 3 quarter inches high, hazele eyes, brown hair, dark ruddy compl. Emu Plains.
JAMES MILLER, - Ship - Mangles, Age 28, Born - Plymouth, 5 ft 5 and a quarter in. hazle eyes, sandy hair, fair ruddy comp. Emu Plains.

The Sydney Gazette - Thursday 14 October 1824
Principal Superintendent of Convicts' Office, Sydney, October 13, 1824
The undermentioned Prisoners having absented themselves from their respective Employments, and some of them at large with false Certificates, all Constables and others are hereby required to use their utmost Exertions in lodging them in safe Custody:-
SAMUEL JARMAN, - Ship - Hebe, 25 years, Born - Exeter, 5 feet 3 and a half inches, hazle eyes, brown hair, fair pale complexion, Wellington Plains.
JOHN JORDAN, - Ship - John Barry, 27 years - Born - Exeter, 5 feet 3 inches, hazle eyes, dark brown hair, fair ruddy complexion, Mr Thompson's Clearing Party.

The Sydney Gazette - Thursday 4 November 1824
Principal Superintendent's Office, November 2, 1824
The undermentioned Prisoners having absented themselves from their respective Employments, and some of them at large with false Certificates, all Constables and others are hereby required to use their utmost Exertions in lodging them in safe Custody:-
RICHARD VOGLER, - Ship - Hindestan, 30 Years, Born - Devonshire, five feet seven inches, hazle eyes, dark brown hair, florid comp. Servant to Dr Mill, Liverpool.
SAMUEL JARMAN, Ship - Hebe, 25 Years, Born - Exeter, 5 feet 4 and a half inches, dark eyes, black hair, fair pale complexion, Wellington Plains

Hobart Town Gazette - Friday 1 April 1825
RUNAWAY NOTICE.
POLICE OFFICE, HOBART TOWN
Police Office, Hobart Town
The under-mentioned Persons, charged as stated against their respective Names, having absented themselves from their usual Places of Residence, all Constables and others are hereby required to use their utmost Exertions to apprehend and lodge them in safe Custody.
A.W.H. Humphrey, Superintendent of Police.

SAMUEL CLARKE, 277, 4 ft. 11 ¾ in. red hair, hazel eyes, 20 years of age, a plasterer, tried at Devon Jan 17, 1820, sentence 7 years, arrived in this Colony per the Guildford 1820, native place PLYMOUTH, a sailor on left arm, absconded from the Public Works George Town March 4, 1825. - £2 Reward.

THOMAS MITCHELL, 535, 5 ft. 4 ¾ in. dark brown hair, light blue eyes, 28 years of age a basket maker, farmers' labourer, and ploughman, tried at Exeter Oct. 1822, sentence 7 years, arrived in this Colony per Albion 1823, absconded from the Public Works at George Town March 20, 1825 - £2 Reward

The Sydney Gazette - Thursday 17 November 1825
Principal Superintendent's Office, Sydney, November 16, 1825
The undermentioned Prisoners having absented themselves from their respective Employments, and some of them at large with false Certificates, all Constables and others are hereby required to use their utmost Exertions in lodging them in safe Custody:-
LEE, SAMUEL, ship - Norfolk, Age 27, Born Devonshire, 5 feet 1 inch high, hazle eyes, dark brown hair, sallow complexion, from Mr Bowman's Clearing Party.

The Sydney Gazette - Thursday 22 December 1825
Principal Superintendent's Office, Sydney, December 20, 1825
The undermentioned Prisoners having absented themselves from their respective Employments, and some of them at large with false Certificates, all Constables and others are hereby required to use their utmost Exertions in lodging them in safe Custody:-
ROBINSON, WILLIAM, Ship - Grenada, 26 years, Born - Brixham, Devon, 5 feet 2 and a half, dark eyes, brown hair, fair pale complexion, from Emu Plains.

The Sydney Gazette - Wednesday 1 February 1826
Principal Superintendent of Convicts' Office, Sydney, January 31, 1825
The undermentioned Prisoners having absented themselves from their respective Employments, and some of them at large with false Certificates, all Constables and others are hereby required to use their utmost Exertions in lodging them in safe Custody:-
SHEPHERD, SAM. Ship - Coromandel, B. Devonshire, 5 feet 1 and 3 quarters, hazle eyes, brown hair, dark ruddy compl. from Camp Gang, Newcastle.

The Sydney Gazette - Saturday 11 March 1826
Principal Superintendent of Convicts' Office, Sydney, March 9, 1826
The undermentioned Prisoners having absented themselves from their respective Employments, and some of them at large with false Certificates, all Constables and others are hereby required to use their utmost Exertions in lodging them in safe Custody:-
PEEK, GEORGE - Ship - Mangles, 28 years, Born - Devonshire, 5 feet 4, light hazle eyes, brown hair, brown complexion, Government Servant to Mr S. O. Hassall, Bringelty.
WILLIAMS THOS. - Ship - Minstrel, 20 years, Born - Plymouth, 5 feet 2 and a quarter, brown eyes, brown hair, fair pock-pitted comp. from Mr H. McArthur's Clearing Party.

The Sydney Gazette - Saturday 18 March 1826
Principal Superintendent of Convicts' Office, Sydney, March 17, 1826.
The undermentioned Prisoners having absented themselves from their respective Employments, and some of them at large with false Certificates, all Constables and others are hereby required to use their utmost Exertions in lodging them in safe Custody:-
PEEK, GEORGE - Ship - Mangles, Age 28, Born - Devonshire, 5 feet 4, light hazle eyes, brown hair, brown complexion, Government Servant to Mr S. O. Hassall, Bringelly.
RIDD, WILLIAM, Ship - Mangles, Age 22, Born - Kingsbridge, 5 feet 3, grey eyes, light brown hair, freckled complexion, Government Servant to Mr S. O. Hassall, Bringelly.
WILLIAMS, THOS. - Ship - Minstrel, Age 20, Born - Plymouth, 5 feet 2 and a quarter, brown eyes, brown hair, fair pock-pitted comp. from Mr H. McArthur's Clearing Party.

The Sydney Gazette - Saturday 26 August 1826
Principal Superintendent of Convicts' Office, Sydney, Aujgust 24, 1826
The undermentioned Prisoners having absented themselves from their respective Employments, and some of them at large with false Certificates, all Constables and others are hereby required to use their utmost Exertions in lodging them in safe Custody:-
SMITH, WM. HENRY, Age 32, Born - Devonshire, 5 feet 8 1/2 , brown eyes, brown hair, full fair complexion, from Hyde Park Barrack.

The Sydney Gazette - Saturday 2 September 1826
Principal Superintendent of Convicts' Office, Sydney, August 31, 1826
The undermentioned Prisoners having absented themselves from their respective Employments, and some of them at large with false Certificates, all Constables and others are hereby required to use their utmost Exertions in lodging them in safe Custody:-
SMITH WM. HENRY, 32 Years, Born - Devonshire, 5 feet 8 ½, brown eyes, brown hair, full fair complexion, from Hyde Park Barrack.

The Sydney Gazette - Saturday 25 November 1826
Principal Superintendent of Convicts' Office, Sydney, November 23, 1826
The undermentioned Prisoners having absented themselves from their respective Employments, and some of them at large with false Certificates, all Constables and others are hereby required to use their utmost Exertions in lodging them in safe Custody:-
PARKER, WM. - Ship - Surrey, Flax-dresser, 23 Years, Born - Devonshire, 5 feet 6, brown hair, brown eyes, sallow comp. from No. 3 Iron Gang, Castle Hill.

Hobart Town Gazette - Saturday 25 August 1827
The undermentioned Convicts having absconded from their usual places of residence, all Constables and others are hereby required to use their utmost exertions to apprehend and lodge them in safe custody.
T. A. Lascelles, Police Magistrate.
304. GODFREY, JOHN, 5 ft. 8, fresh complexion, brown hair, grey eyes, aged 25, black and white smith, tried in Devonshire, 1822, life, per Arab, born at Elsemere, Devon, a mole right side of chin, absconded from the watch-house, Hobart-town, July 1827. Charged with felony. Reward £5.

The Sydney Gazette - Monday 15 October 1827
Principal Superintendent of Convicts' Office, Sydney, Oct. 12, 1827
The undermentioned Prisoners having absented themselves from their respective Employments, and some of them at large with false Certificates, all Constables and others are hereby requiared to use their utmost Exertions in lodging them in safe Custody:-
LEE, SAMUEL, Ship - Norfolk, Sailor, Age 27, Born Devonshire, 5 feet 1, hazle eyes, brown hair, sallow complexion, from Parramatta Barrack
MORTIMORE, WILLIAM, Ship - Marquis Hastings, Ploughman, Age 23, Born - Devonshire, 5 feet 6, grey eyes, dark brown hair, fresh compl. from No. 2 Iron Gang.

The Sydney Gazette - Monday 29 October 1827
Principal Superintendent of Convicts' Office, Sydney, Oct. 26, 1827.
The undermentioned Prisoners having absented themselves from their respective Employments, and some of them at large with false Certificates, all Constables and others are hereby required to use their utmost Exertions in lodging them in safe Custody:-
MORTIMORE, WILLIAM, - Ship - Marquis Hastings, Ploughman, 23 Years, Born - Devonshire, 5 feet 6, grey eyes, dark brown hair, fresh compl. from No. 2 Iron Gang.

The Sydney Gazette - Wednesday 19 December 1827
Principal Superintendent of Convicts' Office, Sydney, Dec. 14, 1827
The undermentioned Prisoners having absented themselves from their respective Employments, and some of them at large with false Certificates, all Constables and others are hereby required to use their utmost Exertions in lodging them in safe Custody:-
MORTIMORE WILLIAM, - Ship - Marquis of Hastings, Ploughman, 23 years - Born - Devonshire, 5 feet 6, grey eyes, dark brown hair, fresh comp. from No. 2 Iron Gang. 3rd time of running.

The Sydney Gazette - Wednesday 5 November 1828
Principal Superintendent of Convicts' Office, Sydney, Oct. 31, 1828
The undermentioned Prisoners having absented themselves from their respective Employments, and some of them at large with false Certificates, all Constables and others are hereby required to use their utmost Exertions in lodging them in safe Custody:-
BENNETT, John, Ship - Mangles, Groom, 24 Years, Born - Devonshire, 5 feet 8, hazle grey eyes, brown hair, brown freckled comp. from No. 4 Iron Gang. 2nd time of running.

The Sydney Gazette - Tuesday 6 January 1829
Principal Superintendent of Convicts' Office, Sydney, Jan. 2, 1829
The undermentioned Prisoners having absented themselves from their respective Employments, and some of them at large with false Certificates, all Constables and others are hereby required to use their utmost Exertions in lodging them in safe Custody:-
BRIDGES, CHRISTOPHER - Ship - Surrey, 37 years, Bankers' Clerk, Born - Devonshire, 5 feet 7 ½, hazle eyes, light brown hair, pale comp. from No. 10 Iron Gang; 3rd time of running.

The Sydney Gazette - Tuesday 3 November 1829
Principal Superintendent of Convicts' Office, Sydney, Oct 31, 1829
The undermentioned Prisoners having absented themselves from their respective Employments, and some of them at large with false Certificates, all Constables and others are hereby requiared to use their utmost Exertions in lodging them in safe Custody:-
FRIENDSHIP, JOHN - Ship - Sesestris, 28 years, Farmer's Labourer, Born - Devonshire, 5 feet 9, blue eyes, brown hair, ruddy comp. from Robert Futter, Esq.