Transported Convicts (1789-1826)

Christopher Edmunds

Christopher Edmunds was born in 1816 in Newent. His family moved to the Westbury-on-Severn area where he gained work as a collier. On 2 July 1839, he was sentenced to five months in prison for stealing boots and shoes.

At the age of 23, on 10 Feb 1840, he was sentenced to transportation for life for burglary and theft of a quantity of drapery and other goods. The Gloucestershire Chronicle 4 April 1840 reported:

Christopher Edmunds, aged 23 pleaded guilty to a charge burglariously breaking open the dwelling house of Roberts, shopkeeper, in the parish of Westbury-on-Severn. and stealing thereout large quantity of drapery and other goods, the night of the 13th Dec. last. Nancy Edmunds, aged 51, his mother, Jane Edmunds, aged I6, his sister, Charles Stanley, aged 28, and Joseph Baker, aged 22 were charged with receiving part of the property knowing it to be stolen. The evidence against the female prisoners rested on the testimony of another member of the family, a daughter of Nancy Edmunds; she gave her evidence with great deal trepidation, and the learned judge considered the case regarding the female prisoners incomplete. The case against Stanley and Baker, the latter of whom was apprehended with some of the property in his possession in Leatherbottle lane, in this city, by Edmund Estcourt, mayor’s officer, was rather more perfect, but the jury returned a general verdict of not guilty. There were two other indictments against Christopher Edmunds, for burglaries in the house of Thomas Morris, at Newnham, and of Sarah Burnett, at Westbury on-Severn; but he was not tried for them. Alter the acquittal of his companions, he wished to withdraw his plea of guilty, but was not allowed, and having been previously convicted of another offence, he was sentenced to transportation for life.

After a spell on a hulk, he was transferred to the Lord Lyndoch which set sail for Van Diemen’s Land on 11 September 1840 and arrived on 5 February 1841.

In March 1842 it was recorded that: “his misconduct in tearing down the roof and plank of the cells for the purpose of absconding resulted in 30 lashes”.

On 17 October 1844, it was recorded that he showed: “meritorious conduct in pursuing and assisting in the capture of 5 runaways from Westbury Station”.

He was given a ticket of leave on 27 August 1950 and conditional pardon on 21 June 1853.

On 16 Jun 1851, Edmunds married Bridget Walsh in Hobart. Walsh had arrived in Australia under the assisted passage scheme on 13 April 1841. The couple went on to have at least one child.



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *